Charles Pardon was born in Ann Arbor in 1862 to parents who had emigrated from Germany a few years earlier. A 1906 biographer claimed: "no event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of life for Charles F. Pardon who like most boys of the middle class divided his time between play and work." Pardon apprenticed to a butcher and, after working in South Lyon for six years, eventually opened a market in his new building. His addition of groceries to his line of meats allowed him to expand to the second storefront in 1899. "As he has prospered in his undertakings he has wisely placed his savings in property and now owns considerable real estate in Ann Arbor ó the safest of all investments," wrote the same biographer.