|William Wells Bent (May 23, 1809 – May 19, 1869) was a frontier trader and rancher in the American West, with forts in Colorado. He also acted as a mediator among the Cheyenne Nation, other Native American tribes and the expanding United States. With his brothers, Bent established a trade business along the Santa Fe Trail. In the early 1830s Bent built an adobe fort, called Bent's Fort, along the Arkansas River in present-day Colorado. Furs, horses and other goods were traded for food and other household goods by travelers along the Santa Fe trail, fur-trappers, and local Mexican and Native American people. Bent negotiated a peace among the many Plains tribes north and south of the Arkansas River, as well as between the Native American and the United States government.
In 1835 Bent married Owl Woman, the daughter of White Thunder, a Cheyenne chief and medicine man. Together they had four children. Bent was accepted into the Cheyenne tribe and became a sub-chief. In the 1840s, according to the Cheyenne custom for successful men, Bent took Owl Woman's sisters, Eagle woman and Island, as secondary wives. He had his fifth child with Eagle Woman. After Owl Woman died in 1847, Island cared for her children. Each of the sisters left Bent and, in 1869, he married the young Adaline Harvey, the educated mixed-race daughter of Alexander Harvey, a friend who was a prominent American fur trader in Kansas City. Bent died shortly after their marriage, and Adaline bore their daughter, his sixth child, after his death.