Charles August Ahrens was born to German immigrant in Berlin, Ontario, on 28 August 1856. Having previously worked as a harness maker, and then in manufacturing, Ahrens started the Charles A. Ahrens & Co Slipper and Shoe Manufactory in 1910. The building to the left housed the factory at 5 Michael St., in Berlin (Kitchener). At the turn of the twentieth century, Ahrens Shoes was one of the dominant shoe manufacturers in the Waterloo Region, along with the Western Shoe Company, theValentine Shoe Company, and the Berlin Shoe Company. In the summer of 1914, Ahrens Shoes was one of the companies contracted to produce boots for the Canadian military during the First World War.
(Waterloo Region Generations. “Charles August Ahrens.” www.generations.regionofwaterloo.ca;“Busy Berlin Jubilee Souvenir 1897,” published by the Berlin News-Record, https://ia600303.us.archive.org/24/items/cihm_02113/cihm_02113.pdf; “Berlin Today 1806-1906;” Waterloo Regional Museum. “Region Hall of Fame. www.waterlooregionmuseum.com/)