"It all started with John Tyson being a trucker," says Archie Schaffer III, retired Executive Vice President of Tyson Foods. "His truck broke down in Springdale and he decided to stay."
John Tyson's car trouble in the early 1930's was just the beginning of a story that would get much better. Tyson soon after got into the poultry business, and by the early 1960's the company was public and buying other poultry operations.
"Over the years most of the growth of the company has been through aquisitions," says Schaffer.
After John Tyson passed away in 1967 his son Don took over. With help from chief luitenants Leeland Tollet and Donald "Buddy" Wray the company continued to grow.
"It was said in the company and in Northwest Arkansas that Buddy and Leeland could run anything that Don bought."
Today Tyson Foods is Springdale's largest employer with over 5,500 workers at the company's world headquarters. And Tyson's economic impact on Springdale is great.
"We have people that come in from all over the world to visit us here," says Linda Wray, VP of compensation and HR Information systems. "And of course that brings in revenue to the city in terms of hotels and restuarants that they use and of course all the tax revenue that is brought in from our visitors."
But Tyson foods is more than just a company on the south side of town. It's name can be found throughout the city.
"Both my daughters have gone K - 12 here in Springdale, and both of them attended Helen Tyson Middle School," explains Wray. "Which is just right off Don Tyson Parkway and you go a little further and there is the Randall Tyson Park and of course all this community enjoys the park."
In 2001 Tyson aquired IBP and entered the beef and pork business in addition to poultry. But make no mistake about it the poultry business still runs through Springdale.
"We believe that this is the poultry capital of the United States and the world and it's going to continue to be for a long time," says Schaffer. "We're here to stay and we're not going anywhere and we're going to continue to grow the business as best we can."