GRINNELL’S ENTREPRENEURIAL AND PHILANTHROPIC PIONEER:
A BIOGRAPHY OF CLAUDE W. AHRENS

Claude W. Ahrens biography cover

Memoir by Grinnell, IA author, Judith W. Hunter, tells the colorful story of the late Claude W. Ahrens, founder of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. “Grinnell’s Entrepreneurial and Philanthropic Pioneer: A Biography of Claude W. Ahrens” is a 165-page book edited by Julie Gosselink, president and CEO of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. This is the first published work of the Foundation. Copies of the memoir are for sale for $9.95 at the Ahrens Foundation offices in Grinnell, Iowa.

“Americans value success: they applaud people who control events, succeed in business, and make lots of money. By this definition of success, Claude Wesley Ahrens achieved it. He was a successful salesman, invented and patented many products, owned and operated companies, and made a lot of money. But perhaps his greatest success occurred at the end of his life when he established a legacy for his family and community that will benefit people for many generations to come…

Claude Wesley Ahrens did indeed leave it better than he found it. And for that, all people living in Grinnell can be grateful…

The story of Claude is refracted through many lenses: through his own embellished stories, through many people’s interactions with him, through their gratitude, through their resentments. Using those shiny and distracting lenses, I arrive at one way of telling Claude Ahrens’s story.” – Judith W. Hunter