Pierre Menard was born Oct. 7, 1766 near Montreal, Canada. At 15 he signed on with a trading expedition across the vast Illinois country. During the1790's, at the age of 24, he had already established a solid trading business of his own. By the age of 30, he was a respected entrepreneur. In 1792, Pierre Menard married his first wife Therese Godin. She later died, leaving Pierre with four children. In 1806, he married his second wife Angelique Saucier, and together they had 8 children.
Later the state's constitution was amended, and Pierre was then eligible for citizenship, which in turn allowed him to run for office. Citizenship requirement reduced from twenty to two years residency. He became an important political figure as Illinois' first lieutenant governor in 1810.