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Telling Fortunes

Nos. 40 and 41: Dan Wilks and Farris Wilks

Dan Wilks (57, Cisco): $1.5 billionFarris Wilks (61, Cisco): $1.5 billion

The Barnett and Eagle Ford shales may be known as oil and gas hot spots, but fracking has also brought some real money to Cisco, a heretofore anonymous dot between Fort Worth and Abilene. It was here, in 2002, that brothers Dan and Farris Wilks, the sons of a bricklayer, branched out from the family business to found Frac Tech, which designs, builds, and deploys the pumper rigs drillers use to blast open shale formations. After the shale gas industry took off, the brothers found themselves riding a wave that continued until 2011, when they sold their share of the company, by then the third-biggest fracking services outfit in the country, for $3.2 billion. They still make their home in Cisco, where they give of both their funds and time. For a new church community center, they didn’t just put up the money, they even did the masonry.


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