C.B. Manville

Photographer turned industrialist C.B. Manville.

C.B. Manville operated a photography studio in Neenah, Wis., during the 1870s. He quit his business to search for gold in the Black Hills but was unsuccessful. He then started a new career that made him one of America's wealthy industrialists.

In 1885, Manville was living in Milwaukee and started a building supply company called Manville Covering. Business boomed. By the early 1900s, the company merged with the H.W. Johns Manufacturing Company to become the Johns-Manville Corporation. When C.B. Manville died in 1927 he left an estate worth $150 million. His sons, all born in Neenah, became noted art collectors and philanthropists. His grandson, Tommy Manville, was a famous and much-married socialite who was at one time listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the shortest marriage on record.