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 2000 1999
Ranking Ranking Name City
 1 1 Walton Family Bentonville
 Helen walton, Rob walton
 Jim walton, Alice Walton,
 John Walton
 2 2 Stephens Family Little Rock
 Jackson T. Stephens,
 Warren A. Stephens,
 W.R. Stephens Jr.,
 various family trusts
 3 4 Winthrop Paul Rockefeller [*] Little Rock
 4 3 Don Tyson Family [*] Springdale
 Don Tyson, John H. Tyson,
 Barbara A. Tyson,
 estate of Randal Tyson
 5 5 Murphy Family El Dorado
 Charles Murphy Jr.,
 R. Madison Murphy,
 Michael W. Murphy,
 Claiborne P. Deming,
 William C. Nolan Jr.,
 Caroline G. Theus,
 Robert C. Nolan,
 Rev. Christoph Keller III,
 Eric M. Heiher
 6 8 Walter Hussman Jr. Family Little Rock
 7 6 Frank Lyon Jr. Family Little Rock
 8 10 John A. Cooper Family Bella Vista
 9 7 Herbert McAdams II Little Rock
 10 16 David D. Glass Bentonville
 11 14 Truman Arnold Texarkana
 12 24 Donald G. Soderquist Rogers
 13 21 John Ed Anthony Family Bearden
 14 15 Roderick & Delbert Allen Siloam Springs
 15 13 J.B. Hunt Family%% Fayetteville
 J.B. Hunt, Wayne Garrison,
 Johnelle Hunt, Bryan Hunt
 16 30 Jack Shewmaker Bentonville
 17 20 Frank Fletcher North Little Rock
 18 9 Collier Wenderoth Jr. Fort Smith
 19 22 Stephen LaFrance Family Pine Bluff
 20 27 Don Harp Springdale
 21 63 Carl D. Corley Sr. Fort Smith
 22 23 Ronald M. Cameron North Little Rock
 23 31 Willard Walker Family Springdale
 24 NR Dr. J. Floyd Kyser Little Rock
 25 19 F. S. (Sheridan) Garrison Family Harrison
 F.S. Garrison, Ben Garrison
 26 NR Sonja Yates Hubbard Family Texarkana
 27 26 Frank Hickingbotham Family Little Rock
 Herren Hickingbotham,
 Todd Hickingbotham
 28 33 H.C. "Dude" Crain Jr. Fort Smith
 29 17 Don Kirkpatrick Family Little Rock
 30 36 Wallace Fowler Family Jonesboro
 31 41 Chesley Pruet EI Dorado
 32 32 H.L. Hambree Family Fort Sith
 33 28 Reynie Rutledge Searcy
 34 38 Charles D. Morgan Little Rock
 35 25 William Cohn Family Forrest City
 36 12 James T. "Red" Hudson Family Rogers
 James T. Hudson, Michael
 T. Hudson, James R. Hudson
 Jane M. Helmich
 2000 2000 1999 Percentage
Ranking Estimated Wealth Estimated Wealth Change
 1 $108 billion $77 billion 40%
 2 $3.8 billion $3.4 billion 12%
 3 $1.1 billion $1.1 billion 0%
 4 $1.01 billion $2.5 billion -58%
 5 $830 million $840 million -1%
 6 $670 million $517 million 30%
 7 $575 million $621 million -7%
 8 $490 million $285 million 72%
 9 $380 million $570 million -33%
 10 $302 million $235 million 29%
 11 $291 million $240 million 21%
 12 $273 million $190 million 44%
 13 $263 million $205 million 28%
 14 $246 million $235 million 5%
 15 $242 million $245 million -1%
 16 $213 million $152 million 40%
 17 $213 million $206 million 3%
 18 $207 million $370 million -44%
 19 $198 million $200 million -1%
 20 $179 million $165 million 9%
 21 $179 million $64 million 180%
 22 $160 million $192 million -17%
 23 $150 million $150 million 0%
 24 $150 million - -
 25 $150 million $207 million -28%
 26 $135 million - -
 27 $132 million $170 million -23%
 28 $130 million $130 million 0%
 29 $129 million $230 million -44%
 30 $128 million $113 million 13%
 31 $125 million $103 million 21%
 32 $122 million $150 million -19%
 33 $118 million $154 million -24%
 34 $116 million $108 million 7%
 35 $112 million $178 million -37%
 36 $111 million $250 million -55%
Ranking Sources of Wealth
 1 Wal-Mark stock, Arvest Bank Group,
 Community Publishers, Cannon Express
 stock, Leggett & Platt stock,
 Southern Development Bancorporation
 2 Stephens Group Inc., Stephens Inc.,
 Donrey Medic Group, Staffmark Inc.,
 public company stock (Alltel, First
 United Banchshares, BankAmerica,
 Monsanto, Power-One, Dillard's),
 Stephens Production Co., natural
 gas fields, private company ownerships,
 Southern Development Bancorporation,
 First National Security.
 3 John David Rockefeller Estate inheritance,
 sale of Winrock Farms, real estate,
 car dealerships, Carlisle Bancshares
 4 Tyson Foods stock, investments
 5 Stock in Murphy Oil, Regions Financial,
 First United Bancshares and Deltic
 Timber, timber land; real estate;
 auto dealerships.
 6 Camden News Publishing Co. (Includes
 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, other
 daily newspapers, radio stations, cable
 TV holdings); chattanooga Times /
 Chattanooga Free Press, real estate
 7 First stock, sale of Coca-Cola and
 appliance distributorships, 13,000
 -acre Wingmead Farm
 8 Cooper Communities; stock in
 Wal-Mart, J.B. Hunt, Entergy
 9 Stock in BankAmerica, Alltel,
 Dillard's investments, farms
 10 Wal-Mart Stock
 11 Sale of Regions Financial stock,
 sale of Roadrunner convenience
 stores, Truman Arnold Cos
 aircraft fuel distributorship
 12 Wal-Mark stock
 13 Timber land lumber mills, sale of
 Loblolly Stables, thoroughbred horses
 14 Allen Canning Co., Arkansas State
 Bank stock
 15 J.B. Hunt Transport Services stock,
 cattle ranch, residential
 developments, auto dealership
 16 Wal-Mart stock
 17 Frank Fletcher Cos (Cheyenne
 Industries, Legacy Lamps, auto
 dealerships, Riverfront Hilton
 Inn, restaurants), Wal-Mart stock
 18 OK Industries, First Bank Corp.
 19 Wholesale pharmacy, USA Durg
 Store chain.
 20 Harps Food Stores
 21 Carco Transportation
 22 Mountaire Corp.
 23 Wal-Mart stock, oil holidays
 24 Equity portfolio, real
 estate (industrial multifamily)
 25 American Freightways stock
 26 E-Z Mart Inc. Convenience
 store chain
 27 Sale of TCBY Enterprises,
 Regions Financial stook,
 auto dealerships, restaurants
 28 Sale of Crain Industries
 29 Quality Foods
 30 Sale of Regions Financial
 stock, Fowler Foods (Taco
 Bell & KFC restaurant
 franchises), Fowler Enterprises,
 sale of KFC franchises,
 real estate
 31 Oil holdings, First United
 Bancshares stock
 32 Sale of Arkansas Best stock,
 Trans States trucking, First
 American Corp. stock, Texas
 banks, cattle ranch
 33 First Security Bancorp,
 Baxter County Bancshares,
 real estate, insurance
 34 Stock in Acxiom and
 Fairfield Communities
 35 Forrest City Grocery Co.
 36 Tyson Foods stock, sale
 of Hudson Foods, real estate
37 40 Ross Whipple Family Arkadelphia $110 million
38 39 Thomas "Mack" McLarty Little Rock $107 million
39 18 Mark Simmons Siloam Sprihgs $106 million
40 74 Jon E.M. Jacoby Little Rock $102 million
41 43 Cabe Family Little Rock $100 million
41 44 Ed Ligon Family Little Rock $100 million
43 11 William Dillard Family Little Rock $99 million
 William Dillard, William
 Dillard III, Alex Dillard
 Mike Dillard, Drue Corbusier
44 34 Tenenbaum Family North Little Rock $99 million
45 42 Gene George Family Springdale $96 million
46 45 Tom Loberg Family Jonesboro $95 million
47 101 Wayne Ridout Family Searcy $94 million
48 104 Bill Carlton Family Little Rock $93 million
49 47 Ed Warmack Family Fort Smith $92 million
50 46 Charles "Bo" Adams Leachville $92 million
51 29 Lloyd E. Peterson Family Decatur $91 million
52 51 Richard & Patti Upton Heber Springs $83 million
53 55 John A. Riggs III Family Little Rock $78 million
54 83 Thomas B. Schueck Little Rock $74 million
55 59 John Allison Conway 74 million
56 64 H. Francis Bland Jr. Family Paragould $72 million
57 49 Sloan & William Rainwater Family Jonesboro $71 million
58 65 Joe T. Ford Family Little Rock $71 million
59 NR John L. Anthony Family El Dorado $79 million
60 61 Jane Dills Morgan Conway $70 million
61 58 John Flake Little Rock $70 million
37 $106 million 4%
38 $107 million 0%
39 $210 million -50%
40 $52 million 97%
41 $100 million 0%
41 $100 million 0%
43 $265 million -63%
44 $115 million -14%
45 $103 million -7%
46 $98 million -3%
47 $35 million 170%
48 $33 million 182%
49 $92 million 0%
50 $93 million -1%
51 $153 million -41%
52 $83 million 0%
53 $76 million 2%
54 $46 million 61%
55 $70 million 6%
56 $64 million 13%
57 $91 million -22%
58 $62 million 14%
60 $66 million 7%
61 $70 million 0%
37 Sale of Firstar stock, Horizon Bancorp
38 Automobile dealerships, real estate, stocks
39 Simmons Foods Inc., Arkansas State Bank stock
40 Stock in Power-One and Delta & Pine Land Co.;
41 Sale of forest & paper operations
41 Sale of Orbit Valve Co.
43 Stock in Dillard'S and Acxiom, CDI
 Contractors, real estate
44 A. Tenenbaum Co.
45 George's Inc., J.B. Hunt stock, sale of
 First National Bank of Springdale
46 Hytrol Conveyors, Regions Financial stock
47 Arkansas Wholesale Lumber Co. (includes Ridout operations)
48 Carlton-Bates Co.
49 Mail developments, First Bank Corp. stock
50 Adams Land Co., farm land, real estate
51 Peterson Industries, J.B. Hunt stock, Decatur Bancshares
52 Aromatique, sale of Arkansas Distribution Co.,
 Red Apple Inn Country Club
53 J.A. Riggs Tractor
54 Lexicon Inc., Schueck Steel Co.
55 Sale of Regions Financial & Belmont Homes
 stock; sale of Spirit Homes, real estate,
 Home Bancshares Inc., Marine Bank of the
 Florida Keys
56 Dr Pepper, RC and 7Up bottling plants and
 distributorships in Arkansas and Mississippi
57 Regions Financial stock, farm holdings, motels,
58 Alltel stock, Pinnacle Bank
59 Anthony Forest Products Co.
60 Acxiom stock, First Bank Corp. stock
61 Real estate investments
62 57 Kenneth B. McGruder Family Fort Smith $70 million $70 million
63 37 Donald Munro Hot Springs $69 million $109 million
64 48 Doyle Rogers Batesville $67 million $92 million
65 35 James T. Dyke Little Rock $66 million $114 million
66 73 John Troutt Jr. Family Jonesboro $62 million $52 million
67 50 Bean Family Glenwood $62 million $90 million
68 66 James F. Keenan Family Fayetteville $61 million $61 million
69 95 Nabholz Family Conway $60 million $40 million
70 53 John Ed Chambers Family Danville $60 million $78 million
71 75 Rodger S. Kline Little Rock $59 million $51 million
72 67 Fred C. Ballman Fort Smith $57 million $60 million
73 71 Robert Clay Family Hardy $57 million $55 million
74 68 William de Yampert Family Wilmot $56 million $56 million
75 70 Fred Swindle Paragould $55 million $55 million
76 NR Douglas Parker Sr. Family Fort Smith $54 million -
77 76 Walter Coleman Jr. Family Little Rock $50 million $51 million
78 NR Chris Whitt Fort Smith $50 million -
79 96 Jim Lindsey Fayetteville $47 million $39 million
80 91 James T. Womble Little Rock $46 million $42 million
81 56 Kenneth Pat Wilson Family Jacksonville $42 million $72 million
82 60 Samuel Sicard Family Fort Smith $42 million $66 million
83 78 Glen Hinkle Family Mountain View $40 million $50 million
84 97 Lee Wilson Family Wilson $39 million $39 million
85 NR Curt Bradbury Little Rock $39 million -
86 54 Harold Gwatney Family Jacksonville $38 million $77 million
87 111 Mike Coulson Family Little Rock $38 million $30 million
88 90 Robert A. Young III Fort Smtih $37 million $42 million
89 52 Leland E. Tollett Rogers $37 million $80 million
90 99 Gerald Hamra Family Little Rock $37 million $37 million
91 72 Wilkinson Family Greenwood $36 million $54 million
92 NR Dick & Tim Hill Russellville $35 million -
93 62 H.C. Schmieding Family Springdale $35 million $64 million
94 103 Robert Hernreich Family Fort Smith $34 million $34 million
95 80 Larry Brewer Family Paragould $33 million $49 million
96 98 James C. East Family Little Rock $33 million $38 million
97 NR H. Lee Scott Jr. Rogers $33 million -
98 NR Thomas M. Coughlin Bentonville $32 million -
99 81 Neely Cassady Family Nashville $31 million $47 million
100 85 William H. Bowen Little Rock $31 million $44 million
101 92 Larry Crain Family Little Rock $30 million $41 million
102 79 Cecil W. Cupp Jr. Hot Springs $30 million $50 million
103 77 William Hurt Family Jonesboro $30 million $50 million
104 108 E.G. Bradberry Family Fayetteville $30 million $30 million
105 109 Hugh Patterson Family Little Rock $30 million $30 million
106 82 Edward G. Sims Family Blytheville $30 million $47 million
107 106 Roland S. Boreham Jr. Fort Smith $30 million $31 million
108 107 Yamell Family Searcy $30 million $30 million
109 100 Bonnie Cupp Wyatt Family Calico Rock $30 million $35 million
62 0% K-Mac Enterprises restaurants
63 -37% Munro & Co.
64 -27% Rogers Bancshares (Metropolitan National Bank),
 Citizens Bancshares of Batesville, real estate
65 -43% Dyke Industries
66 19% The Jonesboro Sun newspaper, real estate
67 -31% Hatfield Lumber Co., Buddy Bean Lumber,
 Curt Bean Lumber, Bean Lumber Co., C.
 Bean Transport, real estate, sawmills
68 0% Sale of Pace Industries
69 48% Nabholz Construction Co.
70 -24% Chambers Bancshares stock, Petit Jean
 Poultry, insurance, real estate
71 15% Acxiom stock
72 -5% Baldor Electric Co. stock
73 3% Town & Country Supermarkets, real estate
74 0% Farm holdings
75 0% Sale of National Florist Directory
76 - stock
77 -2% Sale of Coleman Dairy
78 - Sale of Air Systems Inc.
79 20% Real estate development and sales company,
 First Security Bancorp stock,
 Baxter County Bancshares stock
80 10% Acxiom stock
81 -41% First Arkansas BancShares Inc. stock
82 -37% First Bank Corp. stock
83 -21% Mountain View Bancshares Inc., Mountain View
 Telephone Co.
84 1% Farm holdigns
85 - Stock in BankAmerica, Power One Inc., real estate
86 -50% Automobile dealerships, real estate
87 27% Coulson Oil Co. distributorship;
 convenience stores
88 -11% Arkansas Best stock, First Bank Corp, stock
89 -53% Tyson Foods stock, farm operations
90 0% Sale of Wendy's restaurant franchises
91 -33% Wilkinson Banking Corp.
92 - Daymark Foods Inc.
93 -46% Schmieding Enterprises produce company

94 0% Sale of Sigma Broadcasting
95 -32% First Paragould Bankshares, Brewer Brothers Oil
96 -14% Pulaski Bank & Trust, Pulaski Mortgage Co.,
 Northwest Title Services, Lenders Title
97 - Wal-Mart stock
98 - Wal-Mart stock
99 -34% Tyson Foods stock, sale of TSC Human Resources
100 -30% Regions Financial stock, investments
101 -26% Crain Management Group, First Security
 Bancorp stock
102 -40% Regions Financial stock
103 -40% Spirit Manufacturing, Southern Marketing,
 Hurt Enterprises, Action Sign Group,
 sale of Sun Industries
104 0% Sale of Continental Ozark, Transmontaigne
 Oil Co. stock, real estate
105 0% Sale of Arkansas Gazette, real estate
106 -37% First Delta Bankshares Inc.
107 -6% Stock in Baldor Electric Co., USA Truck Inc.,
 First Community Banking
108 -4% Yarnell Ice Cream, First Security Bancorp stock
109 -19% Wyatt Bancshares Inc.
 Others Who Might Qualify
Name City
W.C. "Cal" Partee Family Magnolia
Terry Renaud North Little Rock
Walter V. Smiley Little Rock
Bernice Jones% Springdale
Bogle Family Fayetteville
David Curry Fort Smith
Dr. Ted Bailey Family Little Rock
Harry Hastings Little Rock
Hill Wheatley Family Hot Springs
J.D. Ashley Family North Little Rock
J.D. Simpson Little Rock
Julia Peck Mobley Texarkana
Randall G. Mourot Little Rock
Randy Warner Little Rock
Remmel Family Little Rock
Sam Winstead Little Rock
Melanie Steele Little Rock
Name Sources of Wealth
W.C. "Cal" Partee Family Thoroughbred horses, oil, real estate
Terry Renaud Firstar Corp. stock, investments
Walter V. Smiley Stock in Alltel Corp. and Acxiom
Bernice Jones% Sale of Jones Truck Lines, First National
 Bank of Springdale, real estate
Bogle Family Wal-Mart stock
David Curry Investments
Dr. Ted Bailey Family Real estate
Harry Hastings Eagle Bank, Moon Distributing,
 Star Bolt Co.
Hill Wheatley Family Real estate
J.D. Ashley Family Real estate
J.D. Simpson Wal-Mart stock, investments
Julia Peck Mobley Bank holdings, investments
Randall G. Mourot Mail Contractors of Arkansas
Randy Warner Investments
Remmel Family Rebsamen Insurance Co., investments
Sam Winstead Professional Leasing Co., investments
Melanie Steele Investments

Wealthiest Arkansans Families

Walton Family

* Bentonville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $108 billion

The country's wealthiest family owns 38 percent of the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Founded by a down-to-earth patriarch, the late Sam Walton, Wal-Mart's phenomenal growth of more than 1.7 billion shares of stock (mostly held in family trust) continues, with wealth up more than 40 percent in the past year and more than double since mid-1998.

Helen Walton, now considered the wealthiest woman in the world, signed notes so Sam could open the first store in Rogers in 1962. Robson, as reserved as his father was sanguine, delivered papers as a teen-ager and competed in the Ironman Triathlon in 1985. Now Robson guides Wal-Mart's 3,810 total stores, $165 billion in sales and 1.14 million employees worldwide as chairman.

Son John is a California resident, vice president of Walton Enterprises and Wal-Mart director.

Son Jim chairs the $2.6 billion Arvest Bank Group Inc. and presides over Walton Enterprises and Community Publishers Inc. in Bentonville. The Walton family ownership in Arvest would fetch at least $400 million.

Daughter Alice led efforts for development of Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and holds stock in Leggett & Platt Inc. and Cannon Express Inc.

In June 1999, Wal-Mart purchased Asda Group PLC, Great Britain's third largest supermarket chain, for $10.8 billion.

Stephens Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth:

$3.8 billion

Outside of the Waltons, the Stephens family is the most well-known in Arkansas business circles. It's impossible to overestimate the family's influence on business in the state; the same might be said for figuring the family's worth.

This year, the family's high-tech investments have really paid off, especially its stake in Power-One Inc., which Stephens took public in 1997 at an initial offering price of $14 a share. The stock has shot up from about $12 a share last year to over $115 today, including a 3-for-2 split, putting the Stephens stake in the company at more than $700 million.

Without the Power-One stock Stephens' wealth would be $400 million less than it was last year.

Stephens Inc. was founded in 1933 by the late W.R. "Witt" Stephens as a municipal bond house. His brother, Jacks on T. Stephens, joined the firm as president in 1956.

Warren Stephens, Jack's son, took over Stephens Inc. in 1986. Witt Stephens Jr. is also part of the next generation of leadership in the family empire.

Stephens Group Inc., which is the holding company for all the family's investments--including Stephens Inc. -- paid an estimated $950 million for Donrey Media Group in 1993. Donrey is now valued at approximately $724 million.

Its holdings also include Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. in Fort Smith -- or the "goose," as they call it -- which is a natural gas production company whose untapped fields across the world have been valued in the $1 billion range.

Last May, Stephens Group bought the commercial services division of StaffMark Inc. for $195 million in cash. It's also a major player in Beverly Enterprises Inc., the nation's largest nursing home chain. Holdings include major stock positions in Bank of America Corp., Alltel Corp., Monsanto Co.; First United Bancshares Inc.; interests in multiple private banks in the state; and 25-story Stephens Building and Capital Hotel, both in Little Rock.

Winthrop Paul Rockefeller

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $1.1 billion

Fabulous inheritance from his great-grandfather, John David Rockefeller, fuel political and business endeavors for Lt. Gov. Rockefeller.

Rockefeller sold Winrock Farms, a Morrilton-based operation, and what was the largest yacht construction company in world. Rockefeller owns Carlisle Bancshares. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1996, 30 years after his father, Winthrop Rockefeller, became the first Republican to serve as Arkansas' governor since Reconstruction.

Rockefeller's inheritance is the least diluted of any of John D. Rockefeller's great-grandchildren because he was an only child. The father of seven children, Rockefeller and his wife, Lisenne, maintain homes at Winrock Farms atop Petit Jean Mountain and in Little Rock.

Murphy Family

* El Dorado

2000 Estimated Wealth: $830 million

The Murphy fortune grew from seeds planted in the early 1900s when Charles H. Murphy Sr. became involved in lumber and banking.

Murphy drilled his first oil well in 1907, but exploration didn't pay off big until 1936, when fields in Shuler, Ark., and Ezzell, Texas, started producing. This was the turning point for the company as the Murphys turned their focus away from timber and banking to capitalize on the finds.

The family's worth, now estimated conservatively at $830 million, is grounded in stock of publicly traded Murphy Oil, a worldwide oil and gas exploration and production company with refining and marketing operations in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Other family holdings include stock in Regions Financial Corp., which purchased First Commercial Corp. in 1998; First United Bancshares Inc.; and Deltic Timber Corp., a public company spun off from Murphy Oil in late 1996.

It was Charles H. Murphy Jr., son of the original Murphy oil man, who molded the company into what it is today, creating Murphy Oil to manage the family's broad interests and taking it public in 1952.

Charles Murphy Sr. was 50 years old when Charles Jr. was born. Murphy Oil Corp. chairman R. Madison Murphy, grandson of Charles Sr., said his father was only 21 when his father's ill health thrust him to the company's helm.

In 1972, Charles H. Murphy Jr. relinquished the duties of president and began serving as chief executive officer and chairman. In 1984, he stepped down as CEO, but remained chairman until 1994, when Madison Murphy took over as chairman. Charles H. Murphy Jr. remained a member of the board until this year.

Other Murphy relatives in the business include Michael W. Murphy, Madison's brother and a director of Murphy Oil; director Caroline G. Theus, a niece of Charles Murphy Jr.; Claiborne P. Deming, president and chief executive officer, and William C. Nolan, both nephews of C.H. Murphy Jr.

Charles H. Murphy Jr. was among the first four inductees into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 1999.

Walter Hussman Jr. Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $670 million

One of the most powerful families in Arkansas, the Walter Hussman Jr. family is also a media power in several markets, reaching hundreds of thousands of people each day through their newspaper, radio and television properties.

The bulk of family fortune rests under Camden News Publishing Co., which includes the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; five other smaller newspapers in Arkansas; the Chattanooga Times / Chattanooga Free Press in Tennessee; and radio, TV and cable holdings. In 1999, Camden News recorded estimated revenue of $200 million. Founded in 1929, the company employs about 1,650.

Under the Camden Publishing umbrella are Wehco Media Inc. (the newspapers, with average circulation of 245,549 and Wehco Video cable system, with 115,000 subscribers) and KCMC Inc., which controls three radio stations and the TV station.

Hussman won one of the country's most intense newspaper wars in 1991, when he bought Arkansas Gazette from Gannett Co. for $67 million. He then combined that newspaper -- the oldest west of the Mississippi River -- with his Arkansas Democrat to create the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Frank J. Lyon Jr. Family

* Little Rock & Boca Raton, Fla.

2000 Estimated Wealth: $575 million

The late Frank Lyon Sr. began by selling suits door-to-door and later became General Foods' youngest district manager. He borrowed $5,000 to go into business for himself and ultimately wound up with the Whirlpool and RCA distributorships for 90 percent of Arkansas and parts of Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas.

Lyon, who died in 1998, brokered deal with his old friend, Sam Walton, early 1970s, under which he supplied every RCA television sold in the country until 1989.

Frank Lyon Jr. graduated from Harvard Business School in 1967, and the next year he and his father acquired Twin City Bank in North Little Rock, then an institution with $10 million in assets. It grew 150 times larger over the next 28 years.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Arkansas was acquired in 1969, and Coca-Cola plants in Shreveport, Texarkana and Natchitoches, La., were added later.

In 1989, the Coke distributorship was sold to Coca-Cola Enterprises for probably more than $250 million.

Frank Lyon Jr. has said that the decision to sell the distributorship was made because he had been diagnosed with what doctors believed was a terminal case of cancer. Instead, Lyon recovered fully and the timing of the sale turned out to be very favorable.

TCBancshares was sold to Mercantile Bancorporation 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.

He spent $4.2 million this year to set up a new address on an 80-acre spread in west Little Rock. The family also owns the 13,000-acre Wingmead Farm in Prairie County and Summer Wind Farm in Kentucky, where brood mares are acquired to breed to premier stallions.

Frank Jr. owns the mother of Favorite Trick, 1997 Horse of Year, and the mother of Skip Away, 1997 Older Horse of Year. The family is such a large benefactor of what was Arkansas College in Batesville that the school changed its name to Lyon College in 1295.

John A. Cooper Jr. Family

* Bella Vista

2000 Estimated Wealth: $490 million

Cooper Communities Inc., founded in 1954, has been one of the leaders in developing planned communities.

Cooper Communities includes Bella Vista and Hot Springs Village in Arkansas, Stonebridge Village near Branson, Mo., Tellico Village in Loudon, Tenn., and Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick, S.C. Cooper sold off Cherokee Village in north Arkansas in 1992.

Cooper Communities employs 673 people.

John Jr. joined the company in 1962 and was named president/CEO in 1968, a post he held until 1990. He stepped back into company's top post in 1998. John Jr. serves as director of and stockholder in Entergy Corp., WalMart Stores Inc. and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.

Herbert McAdams Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $380 million

Herbert Hall McAdams II, a shrewd businessman with an uncanny eye for the future, reaped more financial reward from the banking consolidation wave of the 1990s than any other Arkansan. But his family's fortune, like bank stocks in general, has taken a beating, dropping from an estimated $570 million a year ago.

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

McAdams had already proven himself to be a savvy operator in buying and building a string of successful banks in northeast Arkansas, and he saw the value of his bank holdings roll over multiple times after first selling the family's stake in The Union of Arkansas for $115 million to Little Rock's Worthen Banking Corp. Worthen sold to Boatmen's Bancshares of St. Louis, which sold to Nations Bancorp. of Charlotte, N.C., which purchased Bank of America in San Francisco.

Stock holdings continued to roll with subsequent stock swap-sale of Jonesboro's Citizens Bank but retained ownership of seven-story building. After purchasing Union National Bank, McAdams moved his family to Little Rock from Jonesboro.

McAdams began investing in banks in 1949. He shifted the focus of his career from law to become a bank CEO with the 1959 acquisition of Jonesboro's Citizens Bank.

David Glass

* Bentonville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $302 million

Successor to Sam Walton as head of the nation's largest retailer, Glass retired as CEO of Wal-Mart Inc. in 1999 and took a position as chairman of WalMart's executive committee of the board. This year, he purchased the Kansas City Royals major league baseball team. A 29 percent increase in his wealth since last year bumped him from 16th to 10th on the Arkansas Business list of "Wealthiest Arkansans."

Walton discovered Glass working for the Consumer Markets chain and recruited him to join Wal-Mart as EVP of finance in 1976.

Described by Walton as "one of the finest retail talents" he had ever met, Glass became CFO and vice chairman in 1982, COO and president of the company in 1984 and CEO in 1988. He was credited with introducing technological advances that have made the logistics of the company possible. He was voted Chief Executive of the Year by readers of Chief Executive magazine in 1995.

Truman Arnold

* Texarkana

2000 Estimated Wealth: $291 million

Truman Arnold has a knack for growing companies from modest beginnings.

He bought a Texarkana petroleum production commission agency in 1964 for $2,500 and created the Truman Arnold Cos., an aircraft fuel wholesaler and hangar leasing agency that has 400 employees and posted $450 million in revenues in 1999.

He buys small and sells big. Arnold grew TAC during its first 20 years to include 100 gasoline and convenience stores in the Southwest and the Rockies and sold the Roadrunner chain to Total Petroleum Co. in 1989. But the company also includes seven executive airport terminals and aircraft charter services in six states.

From a double-Wide mobile next to St. Michael's Regional Medical Center in Texarkana, Arnold also doubled the size of the First National Bank of New Boston, Texas, in a year's time after the 1998 purchase.

Arnold and his family own 65 percent of the Texas bank, the only bank held by New Boston Bancshares Inc.

He also was a member of the board of First Commercial Corp. before the Arkansas banking network was sold to Regions Financial Corp. in 1998. He owns considerable stock in Regions.

Arnold served as finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee in 1995.

Donald Soderquist

* Rogers

2000 Estimated Wealth: $273 million

Donald Soderquist's wealth comes from stock in Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where he was senior vice chairman until announcing his retirement in July at the age of 66. He is said to have been the Wal-Mart executive who most resembled company founder Sam Walton in personal style; Soderquist once reportedly showed up at a Saturday morning company meeting in shorts and T-shirt.

It took Walton 17 years after their first meeting to persuade soderquist to join the company in 1980. In 1988, he was named vice chairman and COO.

Soderquist is a graduate of one small, Christian college -- Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. -- and a longtime. benefactor of another -- John Brown University at Siloam Springs, site of the Donald G. Soderquist Center for Business Leadership and Ethics.

John Ed Anthony Family

* Bearden

2000 Estimated Wealth: $263 million

The family timber business, started in 1907 when Garland Anthony began operating a small sawmill near Bearden, is now headed by John Ed Anthony.

By the 1930s, Garland Anthony had built the operation into what was reputed to be the largest private lumber manufacturer in the world.

Anthony Timberlands Inc. is still based in Bearden. The Anthonys also own Bearden Lumber Co. and Anthony Wood Treating Inc. and manage the family's vast land holdings in southern Arkansas.

Anthony's interests also include raising and selling thorough bred horses. He owns Shortleaf Stable, named for a division of timber business. He formerly owned Loblolly Stable with his ex-wife, Mary Lynn Dudley, wife of former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Dudley.

John Ed Anthony's son, Steve Anthony, presides over the Arkansas Forestry Association, the trade association that coordinates lobbying efforts among state's timber interests.

Anthony Timberlands has been modernizing its primary manufacturing sites at Bearden, Malvern and Bierne to remain leaders in the very competitive south Arkansas forest products industry. Revenue in 1999 was $156 million.

Distant cousins -- and business competitors -- are Clary Anthony, owner of Anthony Forest Products Co. of El Dorado, and former U.S. Rep. Beryl Anthony.

Allen Family

* Siloam Springs

2000 Estimated Wealth: $246 million

Infighting between siblings Roderick "Rick" Allen and Delbert "Pete" Allen dominated the business of Allen Canning Co. throughout 1999 and into 2000. The fourth largest private company in northwest Arkansas (with 1999 revenue of $284 million) and the nation's largest independent canning company, Allen Canning has been ranked among the nation's top 20 performers by Poultry magazine.

Rick bought out his brother in 1999. The extremely private family recently owned more than 58 percent of Arkansas State Bank in Siloam Springs, but there are widespread rumblings that the Allens may also be in the process of parting ways in the banking business.

The Allen family's business holdings are said to be vast and wealth estimates are considered very conservative.

Product line for the company, which has 1,100 employees and operates three plants, includes a number of canned vegetables, the Popeye label and other Southern foods.

J.B. Hunt Family

* Fayetteville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $242 million

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. is the largest publicly traded truckload carrier in the nation, and J.B. Hunt family members own 16 million shares of the company's stock.

Hunt, who dropped out of school in the eighth grade to support his family, worked in timber mills, picked cotton, harvested grain, auctioned livestock, served in the infantry during World War II and later drove trucks for 12 years.

He formed his company in 1962, hauling rice hulls from the Delta to northwest Arkansas. He purchased a Kansas trucking company in 1969 and relocated it to Bentonville. In 1971, Hunt incorporated the company and moved to Lowell.

The company has more than 7,750 tractors and 28,000 trailers.

The company struggled in March of 2000 as its stock price plummeted to $10.50 per share, but it had bounced back as high as $17.50 by mid-summer.

On July 1, the company commenced operations of, a logistics business in which Hunt has joined forces with five other large truckload carriers.

Hunt resides in Goshen and owns three cattle ranches in northwest Arkansas. His son, Bryan, owns Best Motor Co. in Rogers.

Jack Shewmaker

* Bentonville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $213 million

Jack Shewmaker continues to affect today's business world by traveling internationally to speak about large retail stores. First becoming a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. district manager in 1970, Shewmaker has been on the board of directors since 1977. After retiring from his position as president and COO, Shewmaker, now 61, continues to serve as a retail consultant. In his 1992 biography, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton called him "a brilliant, shoot-from-the-hip executive with a store manager's mentality."

His Wal-Mart stock holdings have soared from $15.2 million last year to $213 million this year.

Frank Fletcher

* North Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $213 million

The gregarious Frank Fletcher was a manufacturers rep to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the 1960s and an early investor in Wal-Mart stock in the early 1970s.

In the late 1970s, he took Sam Walton's advice and switched to manufacturing. His diverse conglomerate of companies includes Cheyenne Industries, Legacy Lamps, Silverwood Products, the Riverfront Hilton in North Little Rock, restaurants, Fletcher-Bensky Furs and, most conspicuously, auto dealerships in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood, Rogers and Springdale.

Sales of all companies combined for $425 million in 1999. Frank Fletcher Cos. has been the ninth-largest privately held company, as ranked by Arkansas Business, for the past two years.

Collier Wenderoth Jr.

* Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $207 million

Like everyone else in the poultry industry, Collier Wenderoth Jr.'s wealth has decreased dramatically since last summer. At that time, it was estimated at $370 million, and he ranked ninth on the "Wealthiest Arkansans" list.

Wenderoth's father, Collier Wenderoth Sr., started OK Feed Mills Inc. in 1933 with 12 employees. The Fort Smith-based livestock feed plant grew to become OK Industries Inc., the largest private food processing company in the state and the 16th-largest vertically integrated poultry company in the U.S.

The company posted an estimated $800 million in revenue in 1999.

OK Industries is the parent company of four wholly owned subsidiaries: OK Farms Inc., QK Foods Inc., QK Transportation Inc. and Ecology Management Inc.

Wenderoth Jr., who left Fort Smith to attend college and serve in the U.S. Air Force, took over at the death of his father in 1955.

He built its first poultry processing plant in 1959 and added a hatchery in 1962 and a new feed mill in 1965. OK now owns hatcheries in Heavener, Okla., and Stigler, Okla., and a deboning plant in Heavener, Okla. OK Industries now employs more than 4,300.

Stephen LaFrance Family

* Pine Bluff

2000 Estimated Wealth: $198 million

Stephen LaFrance, a pharmacist with-astute business skills, has built one of the largest regional drugstore chains.

He came to Pine Bluff in 1967 and developed the USA Drugs concept in the early 1970s.

LaFrance saw a money-maker that could work anywhere and bought out Super D Drug of Memphis in a deal estimated at $100 million in 1997.

The LaFrance empire is based upon huge warehouse space and a distribution system doing business as SAJ Distributors. SAJ sells products wholesale to 1,100 clients throughout the region.

LaFrance has 117 drug stores in six states, including 30 in Arkansas. Annual sales have been conservatively estimated at $300 million, but LaFrance divulges no financial information about his privately owned company.

Don Harp

* Fayetteville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $179 million

Harvard and Floy Harp started a grocery store in 1930 in downtown Spring dale with money saved from working in the citrus fields of California. Their son, Don, joined the family business in 1953 after his discharge from the Air Force. He opened a Food Palace with his father.

Don Harp led the expansion of the grocery store chain after his father's death in an automobile accident in 1968. After retiring as president of the company in 1995, he left control of the grocery chain to his younger brother, Gerald. Harps has more than 40 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Don Harp now operates Harps Properties, developing housing subdivisions and managing rental property.

He has disputed Arkansas Business' previous estimates of his wealth. Harps Food Stores had sales of $332 million in 1999.

Carl D. Corley Sr.

* Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $179 million

Carl D. Corley Sr. owns Carco Transportation Systems Inc., the giant Fort Smith truckload carrier with $128.1 million in 1999 operating revenue and 1,000 employees.

The company Corley founded in 1962 has become very diversified. Through CCC Express Inc., Corley leases fleets of trucks to other companies. Operates Hertz Rent-A-Car franchises throughout Arkansas and sells Navistar and John Deere equipment in Fort Smith.

Ronald Cameron Family

* North Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $160 million

Ronald Cameron owns North Little Rock-based Mountaire Corp., which produces animal feed in Arkansas and North Carolina. The company had $320 million in revenue last year.

Founded in 1914 by Guy Cameron, the business was known as Cameron Feed Mills by 1931. In 1959, the company and six other businesses formed a joint venture for an integrated poultry operation that became Mountaire Poultry Co. The name changed to Mountaire Corp. in 1971.

Ted Cameron, Guy's son, was chairman, and Ronnie, Ted's son, became CEO in 1975. The corporation now includes three companies: Mountaire Feeds Inc., a North Little Rock commercial feed mill that sells products under the brand name prime Quality Feeds; and Mountaire Farms of Delmarva Inc. and Mountaire Farms of North Carolina Inc., both integrated poultry processing companies.

Willard Walker Family

* Fayetteville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $150 million

Pat and Willard Walker, two of northwest Arkansas' most generous philanthropists, both battled poor health in 1999. Their early Wal-Mart Stores Inc. investments have churned over the years into an extraordinary amount of wealth.

Because of their philanthropy, their fortune is estimated to be about the same as last year despite the appreciation in the value of Wal-Mart stock. The couple retains a tremendous amount of Wal-Mart stock and oil holdings. Willard was the first manager of Sam Walton's five-and-dime store in Fayetteville. It did $90,000 in its first year of business in 1952.

The Walker's philanthropies include the University of Arkansas' Pat & Willard Walker Pavilion in Fayetteville, the Arkansas Cancer Research Center in Little Rock and more than $2 million toward the 1994 completion of the UA's Baum Stadium baseball facility. They also have given huge donations to the Harvey & Bernice Jones Center for Families in Springdale and planned facilities at John Brown University in Siloam Springs.

Their son and daughter-in-law, Johnny Mike and Debbie Walker, operate a ranch near Fayetteville and a construction company.

Dr. J Floyd Kyser

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $150 million

J. Floyd Kyer is a retired ear, nose and throat specialist and successful investor.

F.S. "Sheridan" Garrison Family

* Harrison

2000 Estimated Wealth $150 million

Sheridan Garrison sold his first trucking company because of a contract with the Teamsters union he believed Would eventually destroy the company. It turned out to be a smart move.

Harrison-based American Freightways Inc. has expanded into 40 continental states. And through exclusive marketing partners, Freightways also serves Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Garrison's father, Ben, formed Garrison Motor Freight in 1955. Sheridan bought the company from his brother, Ben Jr., in 1977, but sold it in 1979.

Sheridan founded Arkansas Freightways in 1982, took it public in 1989 and renamed it American Freightways in 1993. He stepped down as CEO after 17 years but remains the company's chairman.

His son, Tom, is the CEO and president, while another son, Will, is the corporate vice president, secretary, treasurer and chief operating officer.

The less-than-truckload carrier actually benefited during the gas price hike earlier in 2000, offering more efficient transportation to customers.

Freightways is expanding its facilities in Harrison, adding a 90,000-SF wing, a 5,000-SF credit union and a 2,700-SF print shop. A new parking lot, two retention ponds and added landscaping also are part of the project that will add to the present 161,000 SF facilities on 51 acres.

The company has a total of 8,859 drivers and 35 hub sites. There are more than 15,200 employees operating more than 26,400 pieces of revenue equipment from a network of 238 customer centers.

Sonja Yates Hubbard Family

* Texarkana

2000 Estimated Wealth: $135 million

Sonja Hubbard became CEO of E-Z Mart Inc., a chain of convenience stores, after the death of her father, Jim Yates, in a December 1998 plane crash. Yates had co-founded the company in 1970 with A.G. Wright, whose interest he later bought out.

Last month, E-Z Mart was ranked by Arkansas Business as the sixth largest privately held company in the state, despite the fact that its headquarters is on the "wrong side" of Texarkana by about five blocks.

Hubbard said Arkansas Business' estimate of the family's wealth was probably as good as any she could come up with.

"That's not something we could go out and write a check for," she said of the $135 million estimate. "We do try to reinvest. We're proud to say a lot of our worth is tied up in revenue-generating. properties."

E-Z Mart operates in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

H.C. "Dude" Crain Jr.

* Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $130 million

Dude Crain started Crain Industries Inc. in Fort Smith in 1963 as a producer of foam and filler for use in furniture, bedding, packaging and carpet cushioning. Its business divisions included Base Line Designs, a furniture manufacturing company.

Crain Industries and all of its divisions were sold in 1995 for an estimated $130 million to Dallas investment company Hicks Muse Tate & Furst. Cram Industries' estimated annual revenue at the time of sale was $230 million.

Crain owned warehouse space in Fort Smith and runs Dude Inc., a Fort Smith company he formed in 1980.

Don Kirkpatrick Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $130 million

The seeds for a food distribution business were planted by Don Kirkpatrick's father, a Faulkner County truck farmer who sold produce.

Today's Quality Foods, with $323 million in revenue last year, began as a $2,000 investment when Kirkpatrick bought his uncle's Little Rock poultry and egg business in 1958. The family operation had 815 employees on the payroll in 1999.

The first phase of a western Tennessee facility (150,000 SF and $10 million) is set to open by end of 2000. He also recently purchased the 122,500-SF First Little Rock Plaza at 10800 Financial Centre Parkway, renamed Kirkpatrick Plaza, for $11.45 million as possible corporate space for Quality Foods.

Quality Foods' revenue grew about 4 percent between 1998 and 1999, but the family's wealth tumbled 44 percent from $230 million last year because of deflation in the average market value of food distribution companies.

Wallace Fowler Family

* Jonesboro

2000 Estimated Wealth: $128 million

The day-to-day focus of the Fowler family's business has returned to its fast-food restaurant roots. However, banking is still important to the family's overall wealth. Holdings in Regions Financial stock total "well over a million shares," family patriarch Wallace Fowler Sr. said.

Those holdings were amassed after Southwest Banchshares, led by Fowler, sold in a $127 million stock swap to Little Rock's First Commercial Corp., which in turn sold for four times book value to Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions.

Of late, the Fowlers have bought l5 KFCF/Taco Bell outlets in southeast. Missouri and around Arkansas. The deal, which amounts to a repurchase, now gives Fowler Foods about 40 locations in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois.

The Fowlers have invested heavily to renovate or build new locations. The upgrade efforts are already paying dividends. For instance, annual sales at the Forrest City KFC jumped from $450,000 to $1.2 million after remodeling.

These types of gains have helped offset the stock tumble of Regions stock that has- seen its per share price drop to $21, falling from a high of $39 to as low as $19 during the past two years.

Chris Fowler is president of Jonesboro-based Fowler Foods, which oversees the restaurant business. He is joined by his brother, Mark, vice president, who had worked in building Southwest Bancshares.

A third son, Wally, operates Jr. Fowler Investments, which consists of eight Subway Sandwich shops, the Elite Security venture in Little Rock and a high-end gifts store in Jonesboro.

Chesley Pruet Family

* El Dorado

2000 Estimated Wealth: $125 million

The son of a rancher, Chesley Pruet started working in the oil fields around El Dorado in 1936. He worked at all types of field jobs for about 10 years before forming a partnership with Zack Brooks, then the owner of Zack Brooks Trucking Co. Pruet brought drilling experience to the venture, and Brooks put up the money. They started with one oil-rig that cost $45,000.

The business has been good to Pruet, who eventually bought out Brooks' share of the company. Today, it's called Chesley Pruet Oil Co.

Pruet has staked his daughters and sons-in-law to a majority share of the family business, although he still keeps an office there. The family sold their drilling company a few years ago.

Pruet, who is on the board of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, still owns two working ranches: 3,500 acres south of Nashville and another 9,500 acres near Texarkana.

Hugh Lawson Hembree Family

* Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $122 million

H.L. Hembree helped pioneer trucking and medical care in the Fort Smith area. Hembree co-founded Arkansas Best Corp. with his- father-in-law, R. A. Young Jr. He's a past chairman and chief executive officer of the Fort Smith conglomerate that weathered a hostile takeover attempt to spawn Riverside Furniture Corp., USA Truck Inc., Treadco Inc., Trans-States Lines and at least seven other companies.

H.L.'s brother-in-law, Robert Young III, now is chairman and chief executive officer, of Arkansas Best. One of his sons, Scott Hembree, is chairman of Trans-States Lines, which was bought by management in 1989.

The Hembree family parlayed $20 million in stock from the sale of First Merchants Financial Corp. in 1995 to more than $60 million worth of stock in First American Corp.

Hembree owns two banks in Texas as well as Sugarhill Farms, which raises corn, cattle and pigs. His son, Lawson, runs Sugarhill Farms. Trans-States posted $67 million in 1998 hauling general and hazardous freight and is one of the state's largest private companies.

In the 1960s, Hembree helped start St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, where the cancer center bears his name.

Reynie Rutledge

* Searcy

2000 Estimated Wealth: $117 million

Reynie Rutledge continues to expand the $1.1 billion-asset First Security. Bancorp. The Searcy-based holding company has developed two locations in Fayeteeville, one in Rogers, one in the works for Bella Vista and a second location at Heber Springs.

This year, he bought the Little Rock investment banking firm of Crews & Associates, which is capitalized at $18 million.

The Smackover native began his banking career in 1977, when he was 27, by buying the $46 million-asset First Security Bank in Searcy on advice of his college roommate, Curt Brad-bury, then an up-and-coming executive at Stephens Inc. and later chairman of Worthen Banking Corp. (Bradbury is ranked No. 85 on this list.)

First Security surpassed $1 billion in assets in March 1999, helped by the holding company's purchase of Baxter County Bancshares Inc., which already had major ownership by Rutledge.

Brother-in-law Jim Lindsey of Fayetteville, No. 79 on this list, shares significant ownership in First Security. Rutledge, in turn, has a sizable stake in Lindsey's apartment ventures.

William Cohn Family

* Forrest City

2000 Estimated Wealth: $112 million

Founded by Sol Cohn, Forrest City Grocery Co. now wholesales to mote than 1,000 independent convenience stores and small supermarkets in parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee within a 250-mileradius of Forrest City.

The Russian immigrant settled in east Arkansas and bought a grocery store called Penny Savers in the early 1930s. Then he took a one-third interest in Forrest City Grocery. Within a few years, Cohn bought our his two partners. He turned the wholesale operation over to his son, William Cohn, in the 1950g.

William Cohn's sons, David and Allen, both work for the grocery wholesaler. David Cohn said the company has registered a minimum of 10 percent growth each year for more than two decades.

Forrest City Grocery Co., with 210 employees, ranked 19th on Arkansas Business' most recent list of the state's largest 75 private companies. The company recorded revenue of $280 million in 1999, up $40 million from the previous year. However, the value of the company--and the family's estimated wealth -- has declined dramatically in the past year due to depressed market prices paid for wholesale grocery operations.

James T. Hudson Family

* Rogers

2000 Estimated Wealth: $111 million

A year ago, James T. "Red" Hudson's family wealth was estimated at $250 million. Now it's a mere $111 million -- assuming the family didn't jettison its nearly 6 million shares of Tyson Foods Inc. stock before it plummeted 60 percent.

After 26 years with Ralston Purina, Hudson founded Hudson Foods Inc. of Rogers in 1972 with about $,100,000, "and that was mostly borrowed."

After an outbreak of e. coli bacteria from one of his beef processing plants led to a massive beef recall and a land slide of negative publicity, Hudson sold the fifth-largest poultry company in America to Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale in January 1998. Hudson Foods had $l.7 billion in sales during its last year.

The sale gave Hudson family members 5,885,958 shares of Tyson stock and $82 million cash.

Hudson now owns Hudson & Associates, a finance company based in Rogers that is involved in poultry operations in Poland.

Thomas "Mack" McLarty III

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $107 million

Thomas "Mack" McLarty III, chief of staff to President Clinton from 1993 to 1998, sold 51 percent interest in his 19 auto dealerships to Asbury Auto motive Group of Pennsylvania. Now he's vice chairman of Asbury.

In Arkansas, McLarty grew his father's car business in Hope into dealerships across the state and throughout the western hemisphere, including Prestige Toyota, Premiere Pontiac and North Point Ford in central Arkansas.

Before his days in Washington, D.C., as an aide to Clinton, McLarty was CEO and chairman of Arkla.

McLarty began his political career early. He was elected to the state legislature at age 23. He was the state Democratic Party chairman before reaching 30. He was the treasurer for David Pryor's and Clinton's gubernatorial races in the 1970s.

McLarty and his wife, Donna, have two sons, Mark and Franklin.

Mark Simmons Family

* Siloam Springs

2000 Estimated Wealth: $106 million

Mark Simmons ran the day-to-day operations of Simmons Foods Inc. from 1968 to 1999. Consolidating his work to the duties of chairman, Simmons named Lindy M. "Buddy" Pilgrim CEO in the spring of 2000.

Pilgrim, the former chief operating officer of Pilgrim's Pride Corp. in Pittsburgh, said he planned no strategic changes' for the firm, which had $420 million in 1999 gross sales, up 5 percent from $400 million in 1998.

Simmons Foods, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1999, was founded by Mark's father, M.H. "Bill" Simmons, and has evolved into a diversified poultry empire under the current chairman's leadership. It was ranked among the industry's top performers for 1999 by Poultry magazine.

The poultry industry's sagging values have pummeled the Simmons family's wealth, which was estimated at $210 million a year ago. The famity also owns nearly 5 percent of Arkansas State Bank of Siloam Springs, another industry in which values are depressed in comparison to last Year.

Jon E.M. Jacoby

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $102 million

Jon Jacoby joined Stephens Inc. in 1963 and is a longtime Stephens executive vice president involved in many of the Stephens family investments. He sits on numerous company boards representing those investments, including Power-One Inc. and Delta Pine & Land Co. He also has a significant personal stake in many of those companies. His investment in Power-One grew from about $9 million to $66 million over the past year, explaining the growth in his personal wealth, which was estimated at $52 million a year ago.

Cabe Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $100 million

Lucy Lockett Cabe has used a fortune gained through the sale of forest and paper assets to benefit the Wildwood Center for Performing Arts. She is the widow of Gurdon Lumber Co. owner Harold Cabe. Cabe gave $5 million to Wildwood, including $1 million needed to build the theater that bears her name. Wildwood received another $3 million from the foundation formed in the name of Cabe's late brother-in-law, Horace Cabe.

Ed Ligon

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $109 million

Ed Ligon is retiring gradually. In April 1998, he sold Orbit Valve Co. for $100 million to Cooper Cameron Corp. of Houston. He stepped down in January 1999 as chairman of the high-profile "Crime Out!" program for Fifty for the Future.

He retains a seat on the board of the countywide anti-crime unit and continues to work with area youth through Fellowship Baptist Church.

Ligon's grandfather started the company in Oklahoma in 1912, and Ligon moved it to Little Rock and assumed control in 1964. His son, Chris, remained with Orbit Valve for nine month following the sale and now works in investments.

Other family members include Ligon's wife, Judy, their other children, Lisa and Shannon, and his sister, Nadine Hankinson.

William Dillard Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $99 million

William Dillard founded his first department store 60 years ago in Nashville. Today, his company is one of the largest department store chains in America with more than 300 stores in 29 states and $8.7 billion in annual revenue.

The company, however, has struggled of late, sending its publicly traded shares into a downward spiral. And as the Dillard's stock goes, so goes the Dillard family fortune. Total holdings have slipped below the $100 million mark and the family's rank among the state's wealthiest has fallen to 43rd this year from 11th a year ago.

Much of Dillard's Inc.'s problems stem from its 1999 acquisition and integration of Mercantile Stores Co. Through June, company sales were down 2 percent to $3.39 billion. The company and family are notorious for their silence with the press and stock analysts, which hasn't helped the stock's price.

William Dillard, now 85, maintains an office at the corporate headquarters but has turned much of the day-to-day work over to his three sons -- Bill II (CEO), Alex (president) and Mike (executive VP). Daughter Drue Corbusier is EVP and chairman of the Fort Worth division. The Dillards are among the highest paid executives in the stare each year. The family firmly controls the company with almost all of the Class B shares, which elect two-thirds of its board.

Tenenbaum Family

* North Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $99 million

Joseph M. Tenenbaum, who had been chairman of the 110-year old A. Tenenbaum Co. since 1931, died in August 1999, leaving an estate that also includes Arkansas Aluminum Alloys Inc. in Hot Springs. A. Tenenbaum Co. processes and sells scrap iron and other metals and is the stare's oldest and largest recycler.

Joe Tenenbaum's son, Harold, is president of the company, which had revenue of $126.5 million in 1999. That was down about 12 percent from the previous year, contributing to a reduction in the family's estimated wealth from $115 million last year to $99 million this year.

Gene George Family

* Springdale

2000 Estimated Wealth: $96 million

The principals at George's Inc. have diversified their finances from owning one of the leading producers of eggs and chicken to having holdings in a propane gas company, three truck-stops, two live-haul operations and sizable cattle holdings.

A third generation of Georges today runs George's Inc., founded almost 80 years ago.

The George family were early investors in First National Bank of Springdale and its holding company, Financial Investment Corp., which sold in 1994 to First Tennessee National Corp. That sale netted Gene George about $7.8 million and his son, Gary, about $4.6 million.

H. Tom Loberg

* Jonesboro

2000 Estimated Wealth: $95 million

The post-World War II dream that began in Tom Loberg's Milwaukee basement has blossomed into a thriving Jonesboro company with $96.6 million in 1999 revenue and 830 employees.

In 1947, he designed and built his first belt-conveyor system. He founded Hytrol Conveyor Co. Inc. in Minnesota to sell industrial conveyor systems a decade later.

In 1962, the company moved to Jonesboro, lowering plant wages from $4 an hour to $1.25. Its national distribution center was moved from St. Louis to a new 75,000-SF building Jonesboro in 1999.

Loberg also owned more than 300,000 shares of First Commercial Corp., an Arkansas banking network sold to Regions Financial Corp. in 1998. Loberg's stock was valued around the time of the. sale at $20.8 million.

He is chairman and chief executive officer of Hytrol and involved in an $8 million housing development at RidgePoint Country Club in Jonesboro.

Wayne Ridout Family

* Searcy

2000 Estimated Wealth: $94 million

Ridout Lumber Cos. of Arkansas was founded in 1971 by Homer Ridout. The company is now led by his son, Wayne.

The company moved to Searcy in 1975 and opened a 1,200-SF store. Today, Ridout has 15 stores (one in Missouri and the rest in Arkansas), 197 employees and sales of $118 million. The company has thrived in smaller communities and succeeded despite intense competition from huge chains.

The family also owns Ridout Door Manufacturing Co. Apparent growth in the family's fortune -- which was estimated at $35 million a year ago -- is likely due to an error in calculations for last year's list.

Bill Carlton Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $93 million

The Carlton family's wealth jumped $60 million over the past year, thanks to favorable valuations for Carlton-Bates Co., the industrial electronic distributor of which Carlton is CEO.

The company, founded in 1957 by Carlton's father, Joe, and Doyle Bates, has grown to 30 locations in 17 states and Mexico. The company's revenue grew from $130 million in 1998 to $155 million in 1999.

Ed Warmack Family

* Texarkana

2000 Estimated Wealth: $92 million

Warmack & Co. is a mall development company, currently owned by Ed Warmack's son, George, who doesn't like talking about the family's sprawling business.

The company owns Central Mall in Fort Smith, the largest in Arkansas at 1 million SF. Total mall square-footage owned is 3.66 million -- estimated value of holdings varies widely.

The company also owns Indian Mall in Jonesboro and Central Mall in Texarkana, Texas; as well as malls in Salina, Kan.; Port Arthur, Texas; and Lawton and Muskogee, Okla. Was based in Fort Smith, Company headquarters is in Texarkana, Texas, after relocating from Fort Smith.

Charles "Bo" Adams

* Leachville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $92 million

Millions in residuals from the sale of A.L. Williams Insurance provides a steady stream of cash for Charles "Bo" Adams. A solid work ethic and the opportunity to learn from such business giants as Jack Stephens and Sam Walton have helped make him one of the state's most successful businessmen.

Born to a sharecropper in Leachville, Adams graduated from Arkansas Tech University and began working for Union Life Insurance about 1960.

Adams went to work negotiating contracts for A.L. Williams Insurance, and when the company sold, he received a fortune in percentages. His knowledge of farming led him to enter the cotton business, and his Adams Land Co. is one of the nation's leading cotton gin operations. His holdings include more than 40,000 acres in Mississippi and Craighead counties and the bootheel of Missouri.

Lloyd E. Peterson Family

* Decatur

2000 Estimated Wealth: $91 million

Worldwide breeding stock marketer, Peterson Industries Inc., does nearly $200 million in annual sales from the remote Benton County town of Decatur. The company employs 1,450 people and operates one plant at Decatur.

The Peterson family, including Lloyd, Dorothy Mae and Lorranyne, and the business hold more than 90 percent of Decatur Bancshares Inc., valued at an estimated $32 million. Lloyd Peterson was long-time member of J.B. Hunt Transportation Services Inc.'s board.

Richard and Patti Upton

* Heber Springs

2000 Estimated Wealth: $83 million

Patti Upton's creativity and her husband's detail-oriented nature combined to create Aromatique Inc., the 16-year-old Heber Springs-based decorative fragrance company and the foundation of the family's fortune.

Aromatique products are available in all 50 states, Canada, Europe, Japan and 20 to 30 foreign countries.

The family, which includes sons Peyton and Paige, also is involved in catfish farming. Paige Upton has been named manager of the Aromatique store at the Mall of America at Minneapolis.

J.A. Riggs Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $78 million

The Riggs family owns J.A. Riggs Tractor Co., the largest heavy equipment dealer in the state. The company was founded as Arkansas Road Equipment Co. in 1927 when John A. Riggs Sr. bought the Russell Grader Manufacturing Co. dealership. John Riggs Jr. began working with the company in 1930.

His son, John A. "Jack" Riggs III, and son-in-law Robert G. Cress, joined the firm in 1959. Jack Riggs is now senior chairman, and Cress is chairman and CEO.

The family's fourth generation, John Riggs IV, joined the company in 1981. He is now president. His brother, Keith Riggs, started work at the firm in 1984 and is vice president of the hydraulics and machine shop operations. Rob Cress, son of Robert, is vice president-sales.

Thomas B. Schueck

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $74 million

Steel has been a very good business for Thomas Schueck. His heavy-metal wealth is bankrolling a grand new home near the entrance of west Little Rock's Pleasant Valley Country Club. The development created a stir as the first teardown project in the neighborhood as Schueck acquired and bulldozed the former home of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to make room for his new residence.

On the business front, Schueck is chasing the herd of new power plant construction projects around the nation. Annual sales in his various steel-related ventures total $150 million. The, company employs 1,600, including 300 in Little Rock.

John W. Allison


2000 Estimated Wealth: $70 million

Johnny Allison parlayed his mobile-home fortune into an ever-growing portfolio of financial stock holdings. His move to banking began with a $900,000 investment in First National Bank of Conway. That 25 percent stake was converted into an $11.1 million piece of First Commercial Corp. after a 1984 stock swap. His First Commercial stock was valued at $50 million when the 1998 merger with Regions Financial Corp. of Birmingham, Ala., was announced.

He sold about two-thirds of his Regions shares shortly after the merger and wishes he had sold it all in light of the company's subsequent stock performance. He resigned from Regions' board of directors in 1998 to launch a new bank venture with partner Robert "Bunny" Adcock.

They bought the Bank of Holly Grove for $5 million and brought in additional investors to build today's $198 million-asset concern. This year they resurrected the Twin City Bank name in anew $17 million-asset bank venture with a cadre of North Little Rock investors.

Allison sold his 50 percent stake in Conway-based Spirit Homes Inc. for $4.9 million to Belmont Homes Inc. in 1995. He continues to dabble in mobile-home investments and is expanding real estate interests, which include the 38,000-SF Bank of America Building in Conway. His 21,500-SF home is one of biggest in the state.

Francis Bland Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $72 million

Herb Bland said he and his family don't belong on this list, but Arkansas Business' estimating methods say they do.

In addition to longtime Paragould bottling plant, Dr Pepper Bottling Co., the family has distribution operations in Jackson and Gulfport, Miss. Estimated sales are in the $50 million range. Founded in 1921, the soft-drink bottler employs 300. In Paragould, its product lines include Royal Crown Cola, Dr Pepper, 7 Up and Mountain Valley Water.

The family is well-known for its support of youth baseball programs in northeast Arkansas.

Rainwater Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $71 million

Brothers Sloan and Bill Rainwater own vast holdings in banks, motels and farms. Regions Financial Corp. purchased the Arkansas Banking Co., owned by the Rainwaters, in 1998.

The family received Regions stock now worth an estimated $33.4 million (down from $58 million last year). The family bought Bank of Northeast Arkansas in 1977, later renaming it The Arkansas Bank. The Rainwaters also own Jonesboro's Holiday Inn Express as well as hotels in Stillwater, Okla., and Conway.

Other businesses include insurance agencies in Arkansas and Oklahoma and cattle farming. Land holdings in Arkansas and Mississippi are estimated at more than 20,000 acres.

Joe T. Ford Family

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $71 million

The majority of the family's wealth is in Alltel Corp. stock. The family has 1,184,604 shares of common stock valued at about $74.3 million. Executive compensation plan allows for securities underlying stock options worth $23.3 million for Joe Ford, Alltel's chairman and chief executive officer, and his son, Scott Ford, the company's president and chief operating officer.

Joe Ford, a former state senator, is married to Jo Ellen Ford, daughter of Hugh Winbourn, who founded Alltel's predecessor, Allied Telephone Co.

Joe Ford became chief executive officer of Alltel in 1987 and the company's chairman in 1991. He also is a director and chairs the governance committee for Dial Corp., and is a director of Textron Inc. He holds 78,878 exercisable options in Dial with a value of slightly more than $1 million. The Fords also own stock in Pinnacle Bancshares Inc., of Little Rock, and Scott Ford serves as a director of the bank holding company.

John L. Anthony Family

El Dorado

2000 Estimated Wealth: $70 million

Started as Anthony Brothers Lumber Co. in 1916, today Anthony Forest Products Inc. is a completely integrated forest products company.

The company owns approximately 73,000 acres of timberland in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and operates southern pine lumber producing mills in Urbana. (Union County) and Atlanta, Texas; and wood chip mills in Plain Dealing, La., and Troup, Texas. The company also operates an engineered wood laminating plant in El Dorado and Washington, Ga. About 47 percent of the company's timberland base is in Arkansas.

This year the company joined with Domtar Inc. of Montreal to build a state-of-the-art facility at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. Plant startup is targeted for spring 2001.

Beryl Anthony Sr. and Clary Anthony Sr., sons of founder Frank Anthony, are still active in day-to-day operations. Beryl is board chairman emeritus and Clary is board chairman. John Lee Anthony is president of the firm.

Jane Dills Morgan


2000 Estimated Wealth: $70 million

Stock in Acxiom Corp. was transferred to Jane Dills Morgan following a bitter divorce with Acxiom company leader Charles D. Morgan. The company's acquisitions and issuances have diluted Morgan's stock share to below the 5 percent reporting level.

A 1998 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicated she owned 2.3 million shares -- or $67 million -- in Acxiom stock, as well as stock in First Bank Corp. of Fort Smith.

Her family owned Ward Bus Co. in Conway.

John Flake

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $70 million

John Flake's father was a residential real estate developer who developed the Kingwood Subdivision in Little Rock. Flake followed in his father's footsteps to become the state's most prominent commercial real estate developer.

Flake has been in the commercial real estate business his entire career. His firm,. Flake & Kelley Management Co., manages the TCBY Tower, the state's largest building at 40 stories. The firm is the state's largest property manager with more than 3 million SF of office space and 2 million SF of retail space under management. Corporate clients include Acxiom Corp., Procter & Gamble Corp., Beverly Enterprises Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. It owns or manages properties in Arkansas, Mississippi and California, and Flake himself has ownership interest in many of the properties.

Flake & Kelley Construction Co. oversees more than $200 million in construction projects. Wife Karen is CEO and co-owner of Flake Wilkerson Market Insights.

Kenneth B. McGruder Family

Fort Smith and Cassville, Mo.

2000 Estimated Wealth: $70 million

K-Mac Enterprises, the McGruder family enterprise, was the nation's second fast-food franchisee to cook up a plan for "co-branding." Its marriage of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell has made significant inroads in the central Arkansas fast-food market.

K-Mac now has 142 restaurants in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, including 15 that share a KFC and Taco Bell logo. The company purchased another 12 KFCs in Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff. and Van Buren from the Haynie Co. last year.

The Fort Smith enterprise was founded in 1964 by Ken McGruder, who began by running franchises for Griff's Hamburgers and opened his first combined KFC-Taco Bell location in 1993. The 36-year-old company recently added a Taco Bell to the KFC in Sherwood and is adding a Taco Bell to its KFC on McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock.

McGruder and his early partner, Kenny King, sold the business in 1997 to Brent McGruder, chief financial officer Jon Dyer and chief operating officer Sam Fiori.

McGruder has retired to Missouri and Brent McGruder, who launched his career working in a Fayetteville Taco Bell, is now president. The company posted a 15-percent increase in revenues in 1999 -- to $106.1 million. Through Golden Partners Inc.; the family also holds an interest in Golden Corral restaurants in Branson, Mo., Fort Smith, North Little Rock and Springfield, Mo.

Don Munro

Hot Springs

2000 Estimated Wealth: $69 million

Don Munro, the founder of Hot Springs-based shoe manufacturer Munro & Co., originally opened an Arkansas store for Connors & Hoffman Footwear Co. He went on to buy the company's three Arkansas plants in 1972 and later, built four more, bucking the trend of U.S. shoemakers leaving the country for cheaper labor markets.

The company's 1999 revenue was $137 million, down from $155 million the previous year. In February, Munro & Co. announced a new marketing plan that includes the consolidation of four lines of children's shoes Perfection, Jacks, JJ and Molly Munro -- into a single brand name: MunroKids.

In addition to its own brands, Munro & Co. manufactures private-label shoes for Sears Roebuck & Co., JC Penney Co., Nordstrom and the U.S. government in plants at DeWitt, Clarendon, Mount Ida, Wynne and Hot Springs.

Don Munro owns 79 percent of the company, and the rest is owned by non-family interests. Sons Bruce and Neil and daughters Mollie and Christine all are involved.

Doyle Rogers


2000 Estimated Wealth: $67 million

Back in the late 1940s, young Doyle Rogers was working for an Express company in Newport, making deliveries daily to a Ben Franklin store owned by Sam Walton.

Walton opened his own discount chain in Rogers, and Rogers moved to Batesville to go into business buying manganese for the government. Later he started building houses and then a Kroger store in Batesville, the beginning of commercial development for national companies such as J.C. Penney, Safeway, Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie and McDonald's.

He built Wal-Marts in Little Rock and North Little Rock, Colony West Shopping Center in west Little Rock and Mellor Park Mall in El Dorado.

In the 1970s and '80s, Rogers built his two biggest projects in the state, Arkansas' Excelsior Hotel and the Rogers Building (now the Stephens Building) in Little Rock.

Rogers, now 81, bought Little Rock's Metropolitan National Bank in 1983 and moved its headquarters from southwest Little Rock to downtown. His bank interests are now estimated at $47 million, down from $71 million a year ago, thanks to slumping bank values nationally.

James T. Dyke

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $66 million

Chairman and CEO of 133-year-old Dyke Industries, which specializes in building materials. The company's annual revenue is estimated at $95 million.

Dyke is a Yale graduate and friend of President Clinton, and he served as director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Bean Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $62 million

Glenwood's Bean family has various companies, including sawmills, treatment plants and trucking businesses. The Beans also have timberlands and real estate holdings including Stone Links golf course and residential development in North Little Rock.

Darrell M. "Buddy" Bean owns Hatfield Lumber Co., Buddy Bean Lumber, plus two sawmills and a private trucking fleet. Curt Bean holds Bean Lumber Co., Curt Bean Lumber and C. Bean Transport. The family got into lumber industry in 1956.

Although the family is from Arkansas, several members went to Colorado and California when industry was slow here. Four family members -- Curt, Buddy, Tim and Leroy -- are active in the businesses and have operations in Amity, Glenwood, Hot Springs, Hatfield, Fort Smith, Morrilton and Buckner, Mo.

A significantly depressed value for lumber operations is responsible for the family's estimated wealth declining from $90 million last year.

Keenan Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $61 million

A large portion of the family's wealth comes from the $55.6 million sale of Pace Industries Inc. to Leggett & Platt Inc. in May 1996. Pace Industries, originally founded by Jess Keenan, specializes in aluminum diecast products, including barbecue grills.

Established in Harrison in 1970, Pace Industries included at least 12 locations before the company sold. James T. Keenan remains a consultant to the company.

Nabholz Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $59 million

Four sons of Bob Nabholz own about 52 percent of Nabholz Construction Corp., a 51-year-old business with locations in Conway, Little Rock, Rogers, Fort Smith, Tulsa and Springfield. Each holds position with the company: Dan, chief executive officer; David, general superintendent; Tim, manager of Nabholz Industrial Services; and John, manager of information systems.

The company had sales of more than $296 million in 1999, an increase of nearly 40 percent that drove the estimated value of the family's holdings up from $40 million last year.

John Ed Chambers Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $60 million

Danville State Bank is a family legacy that John Ed Chambers III expanded to a string of banks that includes a stake in a pair of northwest Arkansas operations: Bank of Elkins and Community Bank of Fayetteville.

Holdings in cattle, real estate, the Chamberlyne Country Club development north of Danville and a stake in Petit Jean Meats will pull Chambers through any banking industry doldrums.

Since 1987 Chambers' holding company swelled from $75 million in assets to $750 million with $500 million in loans, Chambers said.

Chambers sister Gene is married to Dallas Cowboys majority owner Jerry Jones; sister Patricia married Jack Dixon, a sports consultant; and sister Jackie married Dr. Jack Counce, a cardiovascular surgeon in Springdale and former Razorback basketball player.

Rodger S. Kline

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $59 million

Operations leader of Acxiom Corp. and one of four team leaders answering directly to company leader Charles D. Morgan.

Kline, Morgan and financial services division leader James T. Womble attended the University of Arkansas Engineering School together in the 1960s and worked at IBM Corp. before following each other to the data integration and management firm that later became Acxiom.

Also Acxiom's chief operating officer, Kline joined Acxiom in 1973. He owns 1,988,700 shares -- or 2.3 percent of Acxiom's outstanding shares.

Fred C. Ballman

Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $57 million

Fred Ballman started with Baldor Electric Co., a Fort Smith-based company, in the 1940s. He was CEO from 1961-1976. He is its former chairman and a member of the board of directors from 1944 to 1982 and again from 1992 to the present.

Ballman's father, Edwin C. Ballman, 86, founded Baldor in St. Louis and lives in Fort Smith Ballman's wealth is built from ownership of Baldor stock, which hasn't posted a negative year of performance in at least 10 years.

Robert Clay Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $57 million

Robert Clay owns 21 Town and Country, Price Chopper and Nu-Way Food stores in northeast Arkansas and Missouri. The company's annual revenue is estimated at $105 million, enough to put it at No. 48 on Arkansas Business' list of largest private companies.

Clay also owns a 7,500-acre cattle ranch, a candy and tobacco warehouse and three Tobacco World stores.

William de Yampert Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $56 million

The de Yampert family has owned Ashley County land since before the Civil War, beginning with great-grandfather Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus de Yampert, for a total of probably 15,000-20,000 acres. Now in his 80s, William de Yampert is also involved in other family enterprises that include farming and catfish farming.

Fred Swindle


2000 Estimated Wealth: $55 million

Sold National Florist Directory to Teleflora in 1997. National Florist is known primarily as Redbook Florist Services for red cover of directory for thousands of florists nationwide.

Douglas Parker Sr. Family

Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $54 million

Kyle Parker, Douglas Parker's son, has generated wealth for the family through his Internet legal information company Inc.

Formed in 1987, the Van Buren company went public last September. Its stock shot up to $47.50 a share before settling back down below $10. The company--which is competing against well-established giants Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw - provides legal information from 1,800 databases, including nearly all federal and state courts.

Both Kyle Parker and Douglas Parker are attorneys. Kyle Parker conceived the venture while attending Franklin Pierce Law School in Concord, N.H., as a way to provide low-cost legal research. The family's combined holdings --including those of Kyle, Douglas and Melanie Parker -- amount to more than 6 million shares of the company.

Chris Whitt

Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $50 million

Chris Whitt's wealth is attributed to the sale of his company, Air Systems Inc. of Fort Smith, a manufacturer of cabinets and furnishings, to Mercury Capital of New york in October 1999. The sales price was not disclosed, but the $50 million estimate is conservative based on 1998 revenue of $85 million.

Jim Lindsey


2000 Estimated Wealth: $47 million

Jim Lindsey, a former University of Arkansas and Minnesota Vikings football player, used his math degree to make a bigger impact in Arkansas real estate than NFL gridirons.

A native of Forrest City, Lindsey used a $75,000 signing bonus and a friendly hometown loan to purchase some land in north Fayetteville in 1966. He made a huge profit three years later when he sold the land to developers of the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

He has proved his first real estate transaction was no fluke by building a real estate empire in northwest Arkansas. Lindsey & Associates, which he formed after retiring from football in 1973, has sales of more than $188 million in 1999.

Also, Lindsey builds, owns and operates more apartment units than any company in state.

Lindsey owns about $11 million in Reynie Rutledge's (No. 33) First Security Bancorp. of Searcy.

James T. Womble

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $46 million

Global database applications weren't on the horizon when James T. Womble, Rodger S. Kline (No. 71) and Charles D. Morgan (No. 34) strode the campus of the University of Arkansas together.

But the close college friends have parlayed their engineering degrees and and stints at IBM into success at Acxiom Corp.

"We didn't have a clue," Womble said of their college days.

Womble earned a civil engineering degree from the UA in January 1966. He left IBM to join Acxiom in 1974 and has been a company director since 1975. Following a realignment of Acxiom divisions in 1997, Womble was named leader of the financial services division.

Womble serves as a director and owns 5,000 shares of Sedona Corp., a Limerick, Pa.-based company that writes customer relations management software for small and mid-sized banks and holds other interests in other private ventures with Morgan, Acxiom's company leader, and Kline, the company's chief operating officer.

Kenneth Pat Wilson Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $42 million

Kenneth Pat Wilson opened the doors of First Jacksonville Bank & Trust -- which literally was Jacksonville's first bank -- in 1949 with $65,000 in capital.

As of Dec. 31, 1999, the bank had $28 million in equity and total assets of almost $207 million. Wilson is still its chairman; son Mike, a former state legislator, is vice chairman; and son Larry is president and CEO. His daughter, Kathryn W. Roberts, is a Little Rock lawyer.

In the past half-century, Jacksonville has grown from 1,200 residents to about 30,000, in part because Wilson led a $1 million fund-raising effort to land the Little Rock Air Force Base.

Like other family fortunes built on bank holding, the Wilson family's wealth has decreased dramatically from last year, when it was estimated at $72 million.

Samuel Sicard Family

Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $42 million

The Sicard family leads Fort Smith-based First Bank Corp., the second-largest nonpublic bank holding company in the state, behind Jim Walton's Arvest Bank Group Inc.

The company's flagship operation is Fort Smith's 128-year-old First National Bank. Other holdings include Citizens Bank & Trust in Van Buren and National Bank of Salisaw, Okla.

The family bought River Valley Bank in Lavaca in 1998 and merged its branch operation into the Fort Smith and Van Buren operations.

Sicard's great-grandfather, Samuel McLoud, was president of the bank in 1907. In 1909, McLoud authorized Fort Smith's first high-rise -- an eight-story building that still houses the bank.

In 1977, Samuel Sicard became the fourth generation to become president. Sicard, also chairman and CEO, told Arkansas Business, "Our position is still the same. We're really not interested in selling as long as we can compete."

Family includes Sicard's mother, Lucy Kathryn Harper Sicard, and his children, Melissa Caroline Sicard and Samuel Timothy Sicard.

Glen Hinkle Family

Mountain View

2000 Estimated Wealth: $40 million

Glen Hinkle, 81, began his telephone career in 1938 doing everything imaginable, from digging holes to climbing poles. The family owns all of Mountain View Telephone Co. and Mountain View Bancshares Inc., a holding company that owns the Bank of Mountain View.

When Hinkle started working for his father-in-law, E.B. Watts, at the Mountain View Telephone Co. in 1938, the only experience he had was a correspondence course in electronics. The phone company only had about 60 phones. Today, Hinkle oversees all the operations of the phone company, which has about 7,000 phones and operations throughout Stone County and parts of Cleburne and Izard counties.

Glen Hinkle is chairman of Mountain View Bancshares, which he joined as a board member in 1950. The holding company has assets of about $122 million. His son, James, is the company's president.

Lee Wilson Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $39 million

In 1996 the family had nearly 28,000 acres of farmland in southern Mississippi County. The land is divided among the Lee Wilson & Co. (24,049 acres) R.E.L. Wilson Testamentary Trust (160 acres), and the R.E. Lee Wilson Estate (3,765 acres). Lee Wilson & Co. CEO Mike Wilson is a major supporter of Arkansas College at Batesville and Arkansas State University. He and his family have been agribusiness supporters of President Clinton. His membership in the Arkansas Business Council also emphasizes his support of education in Arkansas. Mike Wilson led effort to legalize and establish casino operation in eastern Arkansas.

Curt Bradbury

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $39 million

Bradbury is known -- among other things -- for his remarkable turnaround of the former Worthen Banking Corp. (now Bank of America). In 1985, he was a Stephens executive when Worthen literally lost $52 million overnight on a bad loan to Bevil Bressler Schulman Management Corp., which went bankrupt.

Stephens dispatched Bradbury and a $30 million loan to save the bank. Bradbury was immediately named president and later took over as chairman and CEO. He revived the flagging bank holding company in less than a decade. In 1994, it sold for about $600 million in stock to Boatmen's Bancshares Inc.

In 1995, Bradbury returned to Stephens as chief operating officer. His investments include shares of Bank of America valued at $12.9 million and Power-One Inc. valued (on July 7) at $24.8 million.

Harold Gwatney Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $38 million

Harold Gwatney's name has been on car dealerships in Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas since 1957. Over the years, Gwatney has been involved in about 10 dealerships across Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas. Now the holdings are pared down to the original Harold Gwatney Chevrolet in Jacksonville (the only holding left in Arkansas), North Point Ford in Millington, Tenn., Saturn of Germantown, Tenn., Saturn of Memphis, Gwatney Chevrolet of Memphis and Saturn of Jackson, Miss. With 475 employees, the company had an estimated $240 million in revenue in 1999.

Each of the dealerships is owned in a partnership between Gwatney and his two sons, Russell and Bill. Bill Gwatney, also a Democratic state senator, has majority ownership of the Jacksonville dealership. Russell owns the majority of Gwatney Chevrolet in Memphis, and Harold Gwatney has the biggest stake in all the other dealerships.

Car dealerships aren't fetching the prices they used to, so the Gwatneys' estimated wealth is down significantly from last year, when it was estimated at $77 million.

Mike Coulson Family

North Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $38 million

Ray Coulson started Coulson Oil Co. in 1969 with nine Amoco gas stations, five of which were closed.

Now the company operates 25 Arkansas stores and distributes oil and gas to 120 outlets throughout state.

Mike Coulson, president of the company, began working for his father in 1975 after graduating from Emory University at Atlanta. His sister also works for company, which had revenue of $165 million in 1999.

Robert A. Young III Family

Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $37 million

In 1951, attorney Robert "Bob" Young Jr. was searching for a buyer for three friends' 28-year-old trucking company when he decided to buy it himself.

His son, Robert A. Young III, is now president and CEO of Arkansas Best Corp., whose divisions include ABF Freight System Inc., G.I. Trucking Co., Treadco Inc. and Clipper Express Co.

Robert Young III also has major stock holdings in First Bank Corp. of Fort Smith, and Mosler Inc., a Hamilton, Ohio, manufacturer of banking equipment.

While the value of the family's Arkansas Best Corp. stock has grown from $19 million to $22 million over the past year, the value of First Bank Corp. holdings has declined from $23 million to $15 million.

Leland E. Tollett


2000 Estimated Wealth: $37 million

The former chairman and CEO of Tyson Foods Inc., Tollett, 63, retired in 1998 after 39 years with the Springdale-based poultry producer. During Tollett's tenure at Tyson Foods, the company went from processing 15 million chickens per year in 1959 to 2.3 billion birds a year in 1998. Tyson Foods is responsible for about 30 percent of all poultry processed by the industry.

Tollett's poultry-based fortune has suffered over the past year. His estimated wealth has dropped from $70 million a year ago, and he dropped from No. 52 to No. 89 on the "Wealthiest Arkansans" list.

Gerald Hamra Family

Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $37 million

The late George Hamra's 34-store Wendy's of Little Rock restaurant franchise sold in June 1995, four months after Hamra died. He had built one of the country's most successful Wendy's franchise operations.

James E. Wilkinson Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $36 million

The Wilkinson family's involvement in Farmers Bank in Greenwood dates back to its 1907 inception, when W.N. Wilkinson started as the bank's first cashier. It was a two-man operation run out of the corner of a store in the Greenwood square, said Ed Wilkinson, W.N. Wilkinson's grandson.

The store owner's son opened the first account at the bank, depositing 38 cents, Wilkinson said. Today, Farmers Bank has about $139 million in assets and eight locations.

Over time, the Wilkinson family has managed to acquire controlling interest in the bank and today owns 100 percent of the the bank's holding company, Wilkinson Banking Corp. W.N. Wilkinson held nearly every position in the bank, from cashier to chairman, as did his son, Means Wilkinson. Means Wilkinson died in 1991.

Ed Wilkinson, a state representative, is the bank's president; his brother, Stanhope Wilkinson, is its CEO; and their mother, Elizabeth Wilkinson, is chairman.

Dick Hill and Tim Hill


2000 Estimated Wealth: $35 million

The Hills, making their first appearance on the "Wealthiest Arkansans" list, own Daymark Group, a private company that provides time and temperature sensitive logistics solutions to the food and floral industries.

Last year, Daymark partnered with i2 Technologies to focus on the joint development of logistics and IT solutions for major customers.

Tim Hill is president and CEO of Daymark, which was founded in 1974 and posted about $100 million in revenue last year. It employs about 600.

H.C. Schmieding Family


2000 Estimated Wealth: $35 million

The owners of the H.C. Schmieding Produce wholesale operation also develop office buildings and retail space, such as Signature Square in Springdale. The product company has estimated revenue of $87 million. Depressed market prices for produce operations has dropped the family's estimated wealth from $64 million last year.

Robert Hernreich Family

Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $34 million

The Hernreich Family owned Sigma Broadcast Inc., a Fort Smith-based television company that owned KHBS/KHOG-TV, Channels 29/49, an ABC network affiliate.

The family sold Sigma in 1997 to Argyle Television Co. of San Antonio (Hearst-Argyle Corp.) for an estimated $34 million. Robert Hernreich and wife, Becky, now live in Vail, Colo. Robert's sister, Cindy Hernreich-Beller, remains in Fort Smith.

Larry Brewer Family

* Paragould

2000 Estimated Wealth: $33 million

The family owns almost 40 percent of First National Bank in Paragould and Corning Bank. William Brewer is chairman and CEO of bank operations. Bank holdings grew from sale of various gasoline distribution investments in the 1970s.

The family sold the remaining gas holding, the Brewer Brothers Oil propane distribution firm, last year to MFA Inc. of Columbia, Mo. Still in the family is Shawill Farms, a 1,000-acre operation in Mississippi County and southeast Missouri.

James C. East Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $33 million

The East family owns 92 percent of Pulaski Bank & Trust Co., plus Pulaski Mortgage, Lenders Title Services, and Lenders Title.

James East bought controlling interest in the mortgage lending firm of Jack Collier East in 1967. He bought control of the former Pulaski Heights Bank in 1973 when bank's assets totaled $18 million. The mortgage firm became Pulaski Mortgage.

East started the title business from scratch. His son, Hunter, oversees mortgage and title operations. James East, 62, was diagnosed with cancer in June 1998. He co-founded Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation and provided five year's of seed capital. The family has rebuffed recent speculation, that the bank may be for sale.

H. Lee Scott Jr.

* Rogers

2000 Estimated Wealth: $33 million

Lee Scott, 50, has risen through the ranks at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to become CEO and president of the world's largest retailer. Scott, a 21-year employee of the Bentonville-based company, was named to the head job last January, replacing David Glass. He began his career in the company's logistics department and eventually helped build the company's distribution centers and its hub-and-spoke distribution network. He has been groomed for the position for the past several years, moving to the retail side of the company three years ago.

Thomas M. Coughlin

* Bentonville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $32 million

Thomas Coughlin, 50, is another recently promoted Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive. Last fall, he replaced H. Lee Scott Jr. (No. 97) as president and CEO of the Wal-Mart stores division. Coughlin is also an executive vice president of the company.

Neely Cassady Family

* Nashville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $31 million

The former Arkansas state senator from Nashville served as CEO of TSC Human Resources, which he sold for $20 million in 1995 to Express Personnel Services of Oklahoma City.

His family owns part of what was H.K. Brewer Electric and Cassady Associates, led by his son, Tony. Cassady has served as a director of Tyson Foods Inc. since 1974 (he's now chairman of the board) and owns more than 1.2 million shares of Tyson, which are worth $11 million (compared to $27 million a year ago).

William H. Bowen

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $31 million

Bill Bowen is a former chief executive officer of First Commercial Corp. and a current director. He also was a former interim dean of the law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, which was recently renamed the William H. Bowen School of Law.

He was president of Commercial National Bank of Little Rock in 1971 and amassed his wealth through investments, particularly in First Commercial Corp. Bowen, 77, owns an estimated 1.06 million shares of Regions Financial Corp., which acquired First Commercial.

He also is a former president and CEO of Healthsource Arkansas Ventures. Inc., an Arkansas-based health maintenance organization, and a former director of TCBY Inc., in which he owned 34,000 shares of stock valued at $204,000 when the company was sold earlier this year.

Larry Crain Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

The landscape of Crain family holdings changed this year, when Crain Automotive Inc. sold its Arkansas KarPro Auto Parts stores for $14 million in cash.

The family also owns Freeway Ford Lincoln Mercury in Benton, Midway Ford Inc. in the Memphis suburb of Collierville, Tenn., and Freeway Auto Outlet in North Little Rock.

Larry Crain Sr.'s son, Larry Crain Jr., directs the dealerships, with plans ultimately to manage the entire operation. His other son, Chris, runs the automotive parts division. Searcy ties remain with a small ownership in First Security Bancorp, worth about $500,000.

Larry Crain Sr.'s company, called Grain Management Group, hauled in an estimated $124 million in revenue in 1999. The company employs 380.

Cecil W. Cupp Jr.

* Hot Springs

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

Cecil W. Cupp Jr. started his career at a small Arkadelphia bank owned in part by his namesake father. In 1961, the family bought control of Arkansas Bank & Trust Co. in Hot Springs, and eventually sold its Arkadelphia bank.

Arkansas Bank & Trust had about $15 million in assets when the Cupp family bought it. It grew to about $250 million by 1990, when the Cupp's sold the bank to Little Rock-based First Commercial Corp., which in turn sold to Regions Financial Corp. in Birmingham, Ala.

Cupp, 75, retired six years ago but maintains an office at the bank for his personal business and sits on its advisory board, which he says is just an "honorary" position.

William Hurt Family

* Jonesboro

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

William Hurt Sr., who died in 1997, founded a farm implement business, Southern Marketing Affiliates, and his son, William Hurt Jr. is classic entrepreneur who started Sun Industries Inc. A brother, Rodger, runs Spirit Manufacturing, which makes exercise equipment. A son,, Blant, is the majority owner of Action Sign Group, which did about $8 million in sales last year.

Williams Hurt Jr. is also on the board of First Community Bank of Jonesboro.

E.G. Bradberry Family

* Fayetteville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

In 1977, Edwin G. Bradberry founded Continental Ozark Inc., a Fayetteville-based company in the business of transporting, storing, terminaling and wholesale marketing petroleum products, primarily unleaded gasoline, diesel oil and let fuel.

Continental Ozark marked annual sales of more than $500 million with seven locations in four states when the assets sold to TransMontaigne in April 1995. Afterward, Bradberry owned about 1.5 percent of the stock in TransMontaigne.

Bradberry now tends to B & B Resources Inc., an investment firm located in Fayetteville.

Hugh Patterson Family

* Little Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

Hugh Patterson, son-in-law of longtime Arkansas Gazette publisher J.N. Heiskell, oversaw the sale of the Gazette to Gannett Co. in 1986 for $51 million. About half the proceeds of the sale went to Hugh's children, Carrick and Ralph; the other half to other Heiskell and Allsopp family heirs living out of state. About 1 percent went to Hugh Patterson, the 84-year-old widower said.

Other Heiskell heirs live out of stare. Carrick Patterson once operated a Little Rock advertising agency and now works as freelance photographer. Ralph Patterson does freelance advertising and writing.

Gannett sold the newspaper to Arkansas Democrat publisher Walter Hussman Jr. (No. 6 on this list) in 1991 for $67 million, after which Hussman combined the two newspapers, forming the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Edward G. Sims Family

* Blytheville

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

Edward Sims was a home builder in the 1960s when a contractor friend told Sims about a new hotel he'd built in West Memphis for a burgeoning Memphis operation known as Holiday Inns. Sims eventually owned eight Holiday Inns, including hotels in Oklahoma City, Tucson, Ariz., El Paso, Texas, Columbia, S.C., and Fort Worth.

For six years, Sims ran the real estate department for Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson.

Sims sold his franchise operation to the parent Holiday Inn Corp. in 1981 and used the money to buy The First National Bank in Blytheville. Jerry T. Sims, Edward's son, is chairman and chief executive officer of First National Bank and First Delta Bancshares Inc., the holding company. Edward Sims is vice chairman of both institutions. The Sims family owns a little more than 90 percent of the bank, which has assets of about $148 million.

Roland S. Boreham Jr.

* Fort Smith

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

Roland Boreham moved to Fort Smith from Los Angeles to become vice president of sales for Baldor Electric Co. and has been the director of the company since 1980.

Boreham, 75, also serves as a director of USA Truck Inc.

Yarnell Family

* Searcy

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

In 1932, Ray Yarnell was assistant manager at a Searcy dairy that went bankrupt. Driven to salvage the business, Yarnell convinced family members to pool savings for the project, and Yarnell Ice Cream Co. was born, selling a luxury product at a time when many people didn't know where their next meal was coming from.

Ray Yarnell passed the company to his only child, Albert, who started working at the company at age 10. Albert is now chairman, and his son, A. Rogers Yarnell II, is president.

The family also has an interest in First Security Bancorp worth about $6 million.

Bonnie Copp Wyatt Family

* Calico Rock

2000 Estimated Wealth: $30 million

The Wyatt family owns nearly all of First National Bank of Izard County in Calico Rock.

Bonnie Copp Wyatt is chairman of the bank, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, William "Judge" Copp, and her father, Dr. Noel "Buck" Copp.


2000 Estimated Wealth: $1.04 billion, Springdale

HARD TIMES in the poultry industry have reduced the Tyson family wealth by 60 percent since last year -- yet the Tysons dropped only one place in the "Wealthiest Arkansans" ranking and continue to have one of only four family fortunes estimated at better than $1 billion.

Sixty-five years after its initial shipment of chickens from Springdale to Chicago, Tyson Foods Inc. remains solidified as the poultry industry's giant.

The company was founded by John Tyson Sr., who took the company public in 1963. When he died in a car crash in 1967, Tyson had less than 2 percent of the U.S. chicken marker. His son, Don, chairman until 1995 and now the company's majority stockholder, grew the company to a market share of 25 percent.

Tyson Foods spent $1 billion to buy Hudson foods in 1998 before Don's son, Johnny Tyson, and former CFO Wayne Britt were promoted to chairman and CEO, respectively. Then, in April of this year, Britt suddenly retired and Johnny took over both roles with the company.

The company is trying to recover from a major drop in stock prices in the last year, falling from a 52-week high of $22.88 per share in July 1999 to $8.50 in July 2000.

Tyson Foods continues trying to expand, reportedly getting in a bidding war for California-based private poultry company Zacky Farms. Also, Tyson Foods' wholly owned subsidiary Cobb-Vantress Inc. of Siloam Springs, finalized its acquisition of Maine-based Avian Farms USA Inc. in June 2000.

The company has 65,000 employees and 72 plants in 16 states.


2000 Estimated Wealth: $170 million Little Rock

THIS YEAR, THE HICKINGbotham family finally sold the company that put frozen yogurt on the national menu. Stamford, Conn.-based Capricorn Management Inc.'s $140 million cash offer for TCBY Enterprises Inc. was viewed with a mixture of surprise and relief.

The company endured a decade of stagnant performance under the family's leadership, as sharper competition overwhelmed its once novel product. Hailed for recognizing the tasty opportunity and capitalizing on it, Frank Hickingbotham also has been criticized for not relinquishing control much earlier when the company was on top.

Golden parachutes pushed the family's take on the sale north of $70 million.

Building the nation's largest chain of frozen yogurt shops was certainly not without its reward for Hickingbotham and sons Herren and Todd.

The first retail store opened in Little Rock in September 1981 after Frank Hickingbotham discovered a frozen yogurt product at a cafe in a Neiman Marcus store in Dallas. His purported reaction -- "This can't be Yogurt!" -- provided the fledgling company with its original name.

Hickingbotham took the company public in May 1984, and by the end of that year, TCBY Enterprises Inc. had 102 stores.

The company faced one of its most significant challenges in 1989 and 1990 when fast-food operations like McDonald's and Dairy Queen stole a large share of the frozen yogurt market, partially by undercutting TCBY's prices. The company survived that crisis, along with a rash of dissatisfied franchisees, and now is the world's largest manufacturer-franchisor of frozen yogurt.

Recently, most of the company's growth has been attributed to "co-branding" with other franchise concepts like Subway Sandwiches & Salads and Taco Bell, since the U.S. market is saturated with TCBY stores.

Family converted a portion of TCBY created fortune into banking interests, including stock in First Commercial Bank, which was acquired by Regions Financial. (The value of that investment has dropped from nearly $90 million last summer to under $51 million as of July 7.) A former First Commercial board member, Hickingbotham resigned his position on the board of Regions Financial. He splits residency between Las Vegas and Little Rock.

The family owns a string of California auto dealerships, selling seven different brands of luxury cars and several Harley Davidson dealerships in three states.


2000 Estimated Wealth: $116 million, Little Rock

CHARLES MORGAN'S MECHANICAL ENGIneering studies at the University of Arkansas weren't exactly geared toward global data integration.

Instead, his studies were geared toward gears.

"I wanted to deal with cars and gears and stuff mechanical," said the company leader of Acxiom Corp. "We didn't have any computers, and I didn't take any computer courses in college."

Morgan fed his love for speed by racing motorcycles and then worked his way up to sports cars -- a passion he now shares with his son, Rob. And that has blossomed into the racing-related marketing venture RM promotions.

The younger Morgan has put the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team among the top 20 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

At 57, the older Morgan chased his dream around the track in the Watkins Glen 700 again last month. He qualified 23rd in a field of 38 in a high-speed pickup and finished 18th.

"I had to get in shape, and I did a little practice," Morgan said.

Morgan also recently has guided Acxiom, one of the world's leaders in data integration, management and delivery, through choppy waters that included the layoff of 5 percent of its workforce last year.

On June 26, the company reported annual net income of $90.4 million on revenues of $964.5 million -- up 28 percent from fiscal 1999.

He credits the success to Acxiom's introduction of AbiliTec, a real-time marketing application for viewing customer computer data in depth.

"The answer is always driven by the desire to improve results with alternative strategies," he said.

Morgan joined several UA Engineering School buddies at IBM after graduating in Fayetteville and became the vice president of Acxiom, then called Demographics, in 1972. He became chairman in 1975 and took the company through two name changes to introduce Acxiom in 1988.

Morgan, who also is chairman of the boards of Hendrix College and the Direct Marketing Association, went through a bitter divorce that substantially reduced his Acxiom holdings in the 1990s. (His ex-wife, Jane Dills Morgan, ranks 60th on this list.)

By this summer, Charles Morgan had increased his own Acxiom holdings to nearly $113 million -- primarily through an equity-forward position he took on an additional million shares of the company in exchange for $19 million in debt. He holds 3,878,745 -- or 4.4 percent -- of Acxiom's outstanding shares.

Acxiom directors increased Morgan's base pay by 23 percent this year to $595,000. Besides his minority interest in RM Promotions, for which Acxiom is a corporate sponsor, he also is a pilot and controls MorAir Inc. The company leases aircraft to Acxiom for $80,000 a month.

His wife, Susie P. Morgan, owns the Little Rock franchise of Norrell Staffing Service Inc., which provides Acxiom with temporary staffing for an estimated $250,000 a year.


2000 Estimated Wealth: $110 million, Arkadelphia

ROSS WHIPPLE'S BANKING ODYSSEY BEGAN in 1989 when he started working at Merchants and Planters Bank, in which his cousin, Jane Ross, had controlling interest.

Whipple acquired the bulk of the hank's holding company from Ross in 1991. He consolidated banks in Malvern, Arkadelphia, Hot Springs and Sheridan into a single charter as Horizon Bancorp Inc. in 1995.

To be successful in his business dealings, Whipple said he's relied on passion for his work and compassion for others. "If you take those two qualities, you go a long, way."

Whipple went a long way in February 1998, when St. Louis-based Mercantile Bancorporation Inc. bought Horizon in a $120 million stock swap. Mercantile received Horizon's $551 million in assets and offices in Arkadelphia, Sheridan, Malvern and Hot Springs.

Whipple said he wasn't looking to sell Horizon, but Mercantile's offer was something he knew should take to the shareholders.

Whipple wasn't through with banking. He retained Horizon's young Magnolia operation, which state law prevented him from selling. After a no-compete clause with Mercantile expired in February of this year, Whipple moved the bank to Arkadelphia and renamed it Summit Bancorp. It was the first bank of a new system, which then had about $75 million in total assets.

Other branches followed (Summit's Hot Springs and Malvern branches opened on the same day, March 13), as Summit -- with former Horizon executives on board -- re-entered familiar markets. Now Whipple is rapidly rebuilding a community bank system that by June boasted $128 million in assets. He expects to reach $150 million by the end of 2000.

He personally estimates his wealth at no more than $85 million.

Whipple still turns to his life-long philosophy of compassion for other and love of his work. But he's careful not to let one overtake the other.

"I have a real passion for what I do. But I think I have some sort of a compassion for people," he said. "Now also, if you let either one outweigh the other a whole lot, you get in trouble, where you walk' on people or they walk on you. So it's a pretty fine balance."


2000 Estimated Wealth: $50 million, Little Rock

COLEMAN DAIRY SOLD TO TURNER HOLDINGS LLC in 1998, ending 136 years of family ownership, but the family is still active in the day-to-day operations.

"We're all still here," Buddy Coleman said.

Coleman attributed the company's long success, dating back to 1862, to "the wonderful people who have worked with and for us over the years. We have lots of folks that's been with us 30 to 40 years. You can't appreciate that type of dedication and service enough."

Dedication and service exacted a heavy toll on company founder Eleither Coleman when a delivery horse killed him with a kick to the head at the corner of Seventh and Scott streets, Fred B. Coleman took up the reigns and steered the company onward and upward.

And Buddy Coleman said he never really considered anything else for a living.

"When I got my degree from LSU I was interested in pro baseball -- but it didn't take me long to realize there wasn't anything there," he said. "Then I got a commission in the U.S. Air Force. Then my late brother, Boots, convinced me to get out of the Air Force after 26 months. It turned out that I was supposed to ship out to Korea. So my brother's was sage advice."

More important than any business accomplishment, Coleman said, is his family.

"I guess I'd have to say having four sons that have grown up into fine wonderful men [is my greatest accomplishment]," Coleman said. "Walt is the NFL referee and plant manager for Goldstar, Bob is in charge of sales at Coleman, Charles is an attorney with Wright Lindsey Jennings, and Cherb runs our operations and processing fleet."

And in a business world that preaches to expect the unexpected, Buddy Coleman is firmly grounded.

"I know it was a real shock for me -- I officiated Southwest Conference football for 26 years -- I got back from a bowl game in Japan and found out my wife was really bad ill," he said of his late wife, Robbye, who died of cancer in 1984. "It was a very short illness. It was something that just sort of developed really fast and before she got treatment she was gone. Everything in the business world kind of pales in comparison."

But Coleman serendipitously noticed a divorce notice in the paper filed by a high school sweetheart, Carolyn, and decided to get his feet wet again.

"I read in the paper that she filed for divorce from Dr. Travis Crusie," Coleman said. "So I called her and told her that some time when it was convenient for her I'd like to take her out to dinner."

"How about tonight?" she said.

The couple have eight children and 11 grandchildren between them.


2000 Estimated Wealth: $62 million, Jonesboro

SOME WERE SURPRISED IN JUNE WHEN JOHN Troutt Jr. announced on the front page that he might sell his 100-year-old newspaper, The Jonesboro Sun.

No one but a Troutt has written editorials for the paper in 97 years. Troutt's grandfather, W.O. Troutt, purchased the newspaper from the Cone estate in 1901.

W.O. Troutt and later his sons, John and Fred, ran the Sun as an afternoon paper. John Troutt died in 1948, Fred in 1980. John Troutt Jr. made the Sun a morning paper in 1982.

"When I started carrying papers in 1939, this was a tiny town, probably 10,000 people maybe, and there was a competing paper here then -- it went out in 1943 -- circulation was about 3,500," John Troutt Jr. Said. "Now it's over 30,000."

John Troutt Jr. has been running the newspaper with his sons, assistant publishers Bob and Ed. The brothers are involved in real estate development in Florida and in Jonesboro, where they've developed Sage Meadows Golf Course, a residential community on a semi-private golf course.

John Troutt Jr., 70, cited his sons' business interests outside the newspaper, the cost of keeping up with fast-changing technologies and "punishing estate and inheritance taxes" as reasons to explore options for the paper's future, which include selling it by the fourth quarter.

Experts have said the newspaper could fetch between $50 million and $75 million.
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Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jul 24, 2000
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