Linton Tibbetts left his Brac home at age 16. Not long after he landed in Tampa, Florida, with $16 in his pocket, he went to work for Tampa businessman TT Cox at his lumber yard in 1949.
Working after hours on construction jobs, Mr. Tibbetts saved $1,500, which he used to purchase a half interest in Cox Lumber.
Later he bought out his partner, but kept the Cox name.
In 2006, Mr. Tibbetts’s 26 lumber stores and other hardware outlets, which all proudly flew U.S. and Cayman flags, had revenue of $396 million.
At that time, he sold the business to Home Depot for an undisclosed amount.
He was a humble man. If one did not personally know Mr. Tibbetts, one would never imagine that he was such a mogul.
He spent much of his time with his wife, Pauline, in their small seaside home on Little Cayman near the maritime museum he built for the community.
With a taste for the simple things in life, he loved to go bottom fishing in his 16-foot fiberglass boat with a 25 hp engine.
Mr. Tibbetts passed away in 2011.
This image is from the book “The People Time Forgot” by George Nowak, available at the National Museum. All proceeds from the sales of the book go toward museum projects.