Dolly, Paul and Claude Ahrens – 1944
Paul Ahrens on 6ft. Miracle Junior Whirl
Claude on the Miracle eight-horse Carousel
Claude and Dolly Ahrens
Jim Paschall and Paul Ahrens – 1978
Paul Ahrens/Jim Paschall Memorial Park
Playground at Ahrens/Paschall Memorial Park
Claude W. Ahrens
Claude W. Ahrens was born on August 18, 1912. He graduated from Grinnell High School in Grinnell, IA and attended Grinnell College. He married Dorothy “Dolly” Hey in 1937. Claude and Dolly had one son, Paul W. Ahrens, father to Susan, Chad, and Julie.
In 1940, Claude started the Ahrens Hybrid Seed Corn Company, which he later sold to Cargill, Inc. He then launched Ahrens Manufacturing Company, initially relying on a single product; the Miracle Whirl. The merry-go-round set a new standard for the recreation industry. Ahrens Manufacturing became Miracle Recreation Equipment Company, and more revolutionary designs followed. Miracle Recreation became the world’s number one manufacturer of playground equipment. He and his son, Paul, had put together a series of design innovations that resulted in sixteen patents for their company. Not satisfied with his “retirement,” Claude founded Miraco Company, which manufactures livestock watering systems for worldwide distribution.