Alice Walton Horse Ranch Texas, Four years later the woman CEO’s father had died at the ripe old age of 88. She herself was now 43, but now was an heir to the Wal-Mart empire, as well as the Walton family fortune. Alice Walton, the “speedster”, had become a “multi-billion-heiress” overnight in 1992.
Years later, according to Bob Ortega in his book In Sam We Trust (The Untold Story of Sam Walton), Alice had been traveling from her family farm in Bentonville to work. And that Oleta Hardin’s widower, Harold Hardin, was never offered monetary compensation for his wife’s death, other than what Alice had through her auto insurance company — although the Walton’s lawyers did offer poor Harold $2,500 for Oleta’s funeral expenses.
How The Tragedy Began
Alice Walton was born October 7, 1949. A year later in 1950 her father, Sam Walton, bought the Harrison Variety Store on the town square in Bentonville, Arkansas. He remodeled the building and opened Walton’s 5 and 10 Variety Store on March 18, 1951. The town would eventually become the site of Wal-Mart’s corporate headquarters.
When Alice was a young 21 and attending college, Wal-Mart stock went public in 1970 with 300,000 shares for sale at $16.50 each. After graduating from school, Alice worked for First Commerce Corporation and then later at Arvest Bank Group.
In 1979 the SEC accused Alice—then a 30-year-old broker (and 11 other E.F.Hutton employees in eight cities) of making “unsuitable” option trades for customers. In a letter Alice Walton wrote to the SEC on April 18, 1979, she denied that she violated any laws, but accepted a settlement “to avoid protracted litigation.” She was suspended from the securities business for six months. She learned to lie and cheat at an early age.
During a 1983 Thanksgiving family reunion near Acapulco, Mexico, Alice Walton (now 34) lost control of a rented Jeep and plunged into a ravine, shattering her leg. She would undergo more than two dozen surgeries during the subsequent year and is said to suffer lingering pain from her injuries.
It was in 1988 that Alice Walton founded the new investment bank in Fayetteville, Arkansas (just south of the Bentonville/Springdale area) and named it Llama Company. The following year in 1989, was when Alice had ran down Harold’s poor wife, Oleta Hardin.
Four years later, at the time of Sam Walton’s death in 1992, he owned 48% of the outstanding shares of Wal-Mart. He split these shares evenly among his wife and four children — Sam, Jr., John (who later died in a plane crash), Jim, and, of course, Alice. Sam also left two spots on the board of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
If Sam Walton were alive today, he would not only be the richest person alive (twice as rich as Bill Gates), but the richest person to ever have lived on the planet Earth.
Alice Not In Chains
On January 27, 1998, Alice (now 49) lost control of her 1997 Toyota 4-Runner and slammed it into a telephone box and a gas meter, with the impact breaking her nose. At 10:30 PM the Springdale police AGAIN came to investigate.
The officer, Charles Motsinger, who responded to the scene after her crash, was met by a thoroughly soused Alice. Despite her condition, she had made it very clear that she expected preferential treatment. The detective had said, “She turned back to me and repeatedly asked me, ‘Do you know who I am? Do you know my last name?’”
She refused to take a sobriety test, so the police held her at the local hospital – - until a family connection came down and reminded her that she had to take the DWI test or be found guilty without it.
The local paper reported on her late night/early morning gathering with friends at a Fayetteville restaurant/bar. Stories were mixed on how many drinks Alice had really consumed.
The Springdale police, being completely “democratic”, proceeded as normal and charged her like they would have anybody else. Records from the Springdale District Court in Arkansas later showed that Alice was convicted of driving under the influence.
The Newsflash reported on May 30, 1998 that Alice had been found guilty of driving while impaired, failure to wear a seatbelt, and failure to maintain control of her car.
Alice Walton chose to fight her charges in court, and hired a lawyer to defend her. Walton was eventually found guilty, and fined $350, plus $300 in court costs, and spent 24 hours of public community service. She could have paid a $650 fine, and had that case dismissed, but she chose to fight the charges.
One report says she was fined $925 and given a sentence of community service, sorting files at the Jones Center for Families for about two weeks.
Any sane person would think that having $21 billion would enable them to arrange a driver any time they might want to consume a few adult beverages. If it were up to me, I would base fines on the person’s wealth. The rich, we’ll say, would have to pay $1,000 for a speeding ticket, while a poor person would only have to pay $10. But Alice could have afforded to hire a taxi — or a chauffeur and a limousine. There’s no excuse at all for her recklessness.
After her last DWI in Arkansas, according to a news account in the Charlotte Observer, Alice Walton was moving her legal residence to Texas, “which would enable her to shield her billions in net worth from Arkansas state income tax”. Which just goes to show that something good can come out of something bad. Just ask Alice.
That year in 1998 Alice Walton, a lifelong equestrienne, closed her investment bank Llama Company and left her home State of Arkansas. She moved her permanent residency to Millsap, Texas. There she opened the Rocking W Ranch, a horse ranch, where she needs not have to pay any state income tax at all.
Alice’s ranch is on 3,200 acres of forest land, and she has been living her reclusive life in a 4,432 square foot stucco house, built in the middle of the ranch. The ranch is particularly known for its race-winning horses, which are bred for “cutting”, meaning they are trained for a competition in which riders in a ring compete to separate cattle singly from a herd.
She is now a 63-year-old divorcée, a Texas resident, a rancher, and an avid art collector who’s worth north of $20 billion.
3 Times A Charm!
After celebrating her 62nd birthday on Friday night, October 7, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas, Alice Walton got into her 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch and proceeded to speed away from the event, going back to her Parker County home in Millsap, Texas.
Walton was stopped on Interstate 20 in a construction zone near South Main Street in Weatherford for speeding shortly after 10 p.m. by Texas Highway Patrol, Trooper Jeff Davis, according to Senior Trooper Gary Rozzell. Fox News reported that she was doing 71 in a 55 m.p.h. zone (construction zones are usually a double penalty).
According to the Texas Highway Patrol, Walton was initially stopped for speeding but when the arresting officer suspected that she might be over the legal alcohol limit, he administered a field sobriety test. She failed.
According to the Weatherford (Texas) Democrat: “Through an investigation at the scene, [Walton] was determined to be intoxicated during a field sobriety test,” Rozzell said. Walton refused a breath test, according to Rozzell.