Go deeper into the history of each park with scholarly articles and essays from Oxford University Press, freely available for the centennial year.

American National Biography

William Bent

frontiersman and trader

(23 May 1809-19 May 1869), frontiersman and trader, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. William and his brother Charles constructed Bent's Fort to initiate increased trade of blankets, furs, and other items with the Arapaho, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Shawnee in the region. The brothers engaged in trade also with northern Mexican merchants and drove sheep back to Missouri, where they traded these for mules and horses. William Bent managed the fort for the company throughout its successful years of operation.

Learn More →