On this day, August 24 in the year 1844, one of the pioneers in the paper business was born in New York, USA. His name was Charles Benjamin Clark, the co-founder of Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
Charles Clark was nine years old when his father died. At age 11, he moved to Neenah, Wisconsin together with his widowed mother. On the day of his arrival, he went to work in a furniture shop. When the civil war broke out in 1861, the then 17-year old teenager enlisted in Union Army as a private. Later, he was promoted to first lieutenant and then to captain. He went back to Wisconsin when the war was over.
Charles Clark started his business career as a hardware owner. In 1872, at the age of 28, he established the Globe Paper Mill with his associate Alfred Kimberly. The partnership was called Kimberly, Clark and Company. Charles oversaw production while Alfred focused on sales and finance. Two years later, the company bought the Red Mill and renamed it as Neenah Mill. In the ensuing years, the company built bigger mills and introduced innovative products such as bond paper, colored paper, and toilet paper.
Charles had little formal education but he was quick to learn. He became a member of the local council and later became the mayor. In 1884, he was elected to the Wisconsin legislature and joined the US Congress in 1886.
Charles Clark was 47 years old when died of illness in 1891, a year after he finished his term in the House of Representatives. He had three children with his wife Caroline. At present, the company he co-founded is the leading producer of paper-based consumer products. As of August 23, 2020, Kimberly-Clark Corporation has a market capitalization of $53 billion. It has manufacturing facilities in 35 countries and its products are sold around the world.