Peter F. Ahrens, senior member of the firm of Ahrens Bros., lumber dealers of Staunton, and a representative of one of the early families of the county, was born in the city which is yet his home January 25, 1864. He is a son of John M. Ahrens, a pioneer merchant and prominent citizen, who is now living a retired life. He was carefully reared, and in the common schools began his education, which was completed in the commercial department of the college of Warrentown, Mo. He was graduated in the Class of ‘80, when sixteen years of age and carried off second honors.
Since that time Mr. Ahrens has b3een actively engaged in business and is now at the head of the oldest and largest lumber interest of Staunton. His father established a lumber yard in 1867, the first in the place and operated it on his own account until 1883, when he associated with him his sons, J. C. and P.F. Together they carried on operations under the firm name of John M. Ahrens & Sons for a short time, when the father and J. C. established a yard in Worden, Madison County, of which the latter had the management and soon became sole proprietor. he sold out in 1887, and is now doing a good business in the same line in Riverdale, Ill.
From 1884, until October, 1887, the father and our subject was associated in the management of the yard at Staunton, but at the last-named date John Ahrens withdrew and a partnership was formed between the brothers P. F. and A.E., which has continued to the present. This yard has very little opposition. One firm which established business was bought in 1881. They are dealers in all kinds of pine lumber for house-building purposes and all other building materials.
In St. Louis, Mo., May 16, 1890, Mr. Ahrens was married to Miss Gertrude Jacobs, who was born in LaGrange, Mo., in 1869. When quite young she removed to St. Louis with her parents who are still living in that city, and there she was educated and grew to womanhood, remaining under the parental roof until her marriage. The young couple take a prominent part in social and religious interests. They are both active members of the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Ahrens now holds the office of Elder and Sunday-school Superintendent, having filled the latter position for eight years. He is one of the leading business men of Staunton and in connection with the interests before mentioned he is the present Secretary of the Retail Lumber Association which was organized in Springfield in June, 1890, he being one of the prime movers of the affair. For two years previous he had been a Director of the National Association of Lumber Dealers. One of the public spirited and progressive young men of his community, he manifests a commendable interest in all things pertaining to its good, and is a worthy and valued citizen.
The attention of the reader is invited to a lithographic portrait of Mr. Ahrens, present in connection with his biographical sketch.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.