Patrick J. Ahern
Patrick J. Ahern was born in County Waterford, Ireland in 1861. As a young man he immigrated to England where he began his education in as a merchant. Having learned the basics of running a business, he then decided to move to the U.S. In 1882, young Ahern arrived in Texarkana, Arkansas and joined his old school chum, Roger ODwyer in the retail dry goods business. Within two years, he was a full partner in the newly renamed O'Dwyer and Ahern Dry Goods store. The O'Dwyer and Ahern building still stands in the 100 block of East Broad Street (the old Regency Jewelers building).
After establishing himself in the business community, Mr. Ahern's thoughts turned to marriage and family. In 1904, he married Mary Olive Lansdale of Washington, D.C. The young couple immediately began plans for a modern home in the heart of the Quality Hill neighborhood. Miss Lansdale's elder sister, Mrs. J.P. Kline, was already living in Texarkana and it was decided that the lot originally intended for the Ahern home would be divided into two sections. The corner section would be used for the Ahern home and the inner section was set aside for the Kline home. At one time, there were three more homes continuing beyond the Kline home.
The Aherns had six children: Joe, Mary, Ann, Catherine, John and Eleanor. All but the eldest were born in the 403 Laurel house. Eleanor Ahern-Horrigan was responsible for giving the house to the Texarkana Museums System. The Aherns were founding members of St. Edward's Church and hosted the Sisters of Charity while their convent was being built in 1918.
The Ahern home at 403 Laurel Street in Texarkana, Arkansas is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it part of the Texarkana Museums System. Visit TMS to learn more.