Arkansas Business' 25 Wealthiest Arkansans (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

Members of the Walton family.

His son, Scott Ford, joined Alltel in 1996 as executive vice president and became president in 2002, after Joe Ford retired as CEO. Joe Ford remained chairman until the sale.

Scott reaped an estimated $146.4 million from the sale, and Joe $84 million.

Joe Ford is a director of Textron Inc. of Providence, R.I., and EnPro Industries Inc. of Charlotte, N.C.

This month, Joe and Scott Ford announced they were joining another ex-Alltel exec, Richard Massey, to form an investment company called Westrock Capital Partners LLC.

9. Frank Lyon Family
Frank Lyon Sr., who died in 1998, built his early wealth through a deal with Sam Walton. After gaining the Whirlpool and RCA distributorships for most of Arkansas and parts of Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas, Lyon supplied Wal-Mart with every RCA television it sold from the early 1970s until 1989.

Frank Lyon Jr. graduated from Harvard Business School in 1967, and the next year, he and his father bought Twin City Bank in North Little Rock. With $10 million in assets at the time, it grew 150 times larger during the next 28 years.

The family acquired Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Arkansas in 1969 and sold it in 1989 for a sum reported to be more than $250 million.

TCBankshares, the holding company for Twin City Bank, was sold to Mercantile Bancorporation of St. Louis in 1995. When Mercantile struck a deal to sell to Firstar Corp. of Milwaukee, Lyon was poised to become the largest individual shareholder in Firstar with 14.2 million shares worth about $525 million. U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis has since succeeded Firstar.

Lyon also owns 13,000-acre Wingmead Farm in Prairie County and Summer Wind Farm in Kentucky, where broodmares are acquired to breed with premier stallions.

The family was such a large benefactor of what was Arkansas College at Batesville that the school changed its name to Lyon College in 1995.

10. Herbert McAdams Family
Herbert Hall McAdams II died in 2001, but the family still maintains a presence in the state. At the time of McAdams' death, his fortune was valued at $475 million.

His wealth was built largely on a $10 million investment in Little Rock's Union National Bank, which was teetering on the brink of failure in 1970.



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