This paper engages with and aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion regarding the role of economic and political elites in inequality dynamics and their reproduction over time. We reconstruct the distribution of wealth employing a sample of wills from the El Colegio de Sonora database covering the period of 1871-1910. We show that the rapid industrialisation and modernisation process that occurred in northern Mexico during the late-19th and early-20th centuries led to a continuous increment in wealth concentration at the top of the distribution. The Gini index measure of 0.58 for the 1871-1885 period rose to 0.80 in 1901-1910. Rather than a natural or «Kuznetsian» inevitability fundamental (kuznetsian) necessity, however, our subsequent analysis of the wills of the upper classes suggests a critical role played by the political economy at the time and highlights the importance of control over natural resources on inequality dynamics.