Pierre Menard was born in 1766 near Montreal, Canada. With little formal schooling, Menard struck off on his own at age 15, siging on with a fur trading company making the trek to the Illinois Territory.
By 1791, Menard had established his own trading company around the Fort Kaskaskia area on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Menard was an important political figure in the state. He served as Illinois' first lieutenant governor (under Governor Shadrack Bond) in 1818 after the citizenship requirement for public office holders was reduced from twenty to two years.
His mansion has been quoted as "The finest example of French Colonial architecture in the Central Mississippi River Valley." The home today has been converted to the Pierre Menard Home.
Menard died in 1844. Menard County is named in honor of him.