(May 23, 1809 - May 19, 1869)
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, William Bent was one of the famous Bent brothers who helped open the west. While in the company of a trapping party, William Bent saved two Cheyenne from Comanches. This began his life long association with the Cheyenne Indians.
Along with Ceran St. Vrain, William built an elaborate adobe fort on the eastern Colorado plains near present day La Junta, Colorado. This fort was the only privately owned fortified placement in the west. On the Santa Fe trail and because of William's association with the Cheyenne, this fort became a major merchandise center on the southern plains.
William's influence with the Cheyenne helped prevent war with the whites. William married three times during his life. The first and second were Cheyenne and the third was a half-blood Blackfoot.
William Bent is buried in the Las Animas Cemetery south of Las Animas, Colorado.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Books About William Bent
Bent's Fort by David Lavender
A well written detailed study about the Bents and the influence Bent's fort had on western expansion.