Dan and Farris Wilks
Dan Howard Wilks and Farris Cullen Wilks, also known as the Wilks Brothers, are American petroleum industry corporatists. The brothers established Wilks Masonry in 1995. They went on to found an early hydraulic fracking company, Frac Tech, in 2002, and eventually became billionaires. In 2011 they sold their 70% interest in Frac Tech for $3.5 billion. The brothers, sons of a bricklayer, reside in Cisco in Eastland County east of Abilene, Texas.
They supported Texan U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in the United States presidential election, 2016, contributing $15 million to a super political action committee backing Cruz. They gave $50,000 in 2016 to the candidacy of Jeff Judson, who unsuccessfully challenged fellow Republican Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, in the District 121 Republican legislative primary in March 2016. The Wilks Brothers, along with political commentator Ben Shapiro helped launch and fund The Daily Wire, a conservative news and opinion website in 2015. Additionally, the Wilks Brothers are responsible for much of the funding of PragerU, a conservative YouTube channel and media company started by Dennis Prager to further conservative causes.
Farris Wilks is married to Jo Ann and the father of 11 children. He is the former pastor of the Assembly of Yahweh Seventh Day near Cisco, a conservative Jews for Jesus-type congregation that was founded by his parents, Voy and Myrtle, in 1947. The congregation takes a right-wing approach to the Bible, considering it historically and scientifically accurate, and considers homosexual sex and abortion to be crimes.
Dan Wilks is married to Staci and the father of two children with her and four children from a previous marriage.
Idaho Land Purchase and Restrictions
As early as 2016 the Wilks Brothers began purchasing large quantities of land in Central Idaho mainly in Ada, Boise, and Valley counties. The Wilks Brothers are known by the locals primarily for restricting access to the locals. However, according to the forest service at least some of their restrictions to access are illegal. Land that has been used recreational and for sustenance purposes by Idahoans for generations is often cut off by these actions. The WIlks Brothers often do not allow locals to hunt, snowmobile, cut firewood, or even traverse their land. This has caused frustration and earned the brothers a negative reputation among the locals.
As of 2018, many of the parcels of land owned by the Wilks Brothers have been listed for sale via Wilks Ranch Brokers, LLC.
- Durgy, Edwin (September 26, 2011). "The Forbes 400's Newest Undercover Billionaires: The Wilks Brothers". Forbes.
- Billionaires buy up land in Idaho
- Kong, Dinny McMahon And Kanga (2011-05-13). "Frac Tech Got $3.5 Billion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
- Montgomery, Peter (June 13, 2014). "Meet the Billionaire Brothers You Never Heard of Who Fund the Religious Right". American Prospect.
- "The 41 Wealthiest Texans: Nos. 40 and 41: Dan Wilks and Farris Wilks: Dan Wilks (57, CISCO): $1.5 BILLION Farris Wilks (61, CISCO): $1.5 BILLION". Texas Monthly.
- "Big Money: Billionaire Brothers Give Ted Cruz $15M". The Daily Beast.
- David Saleh Rauf, "Mega donors bolster tea party: Billionaire family fuels anti-Straus bid", San Antonio Express-News, January 22, 2016, pp. 1, A8
- Stevenson, Seth (January 24, 2018). "The Many Faces of Ben Shapiro". Slate. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Bernstein, Joseph (March 3, 2018). "How PragerU is winning the Right Wing culture war without Donald Trump". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
- Conlin, Michelle (September 11, 2015). "Special Report: Touting morality, billionaire Texas brothers top 2016 donor list". Retrieved 7 July 2016; includes link to their statement of belief
- "Texas billionaires limit snowmobile access on Idaho land, reverse course on logging".
- "Texas billionaires put gates on popular Forest Service road near Boise". www.idahostatesman.com.