About Bent County
Bent County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,499. The county seat and only incorporated municipality is Las Animas. The county is named in honor of frontier trader William Bent.
As Colorado, experienced population growth following the American Civil War, government had to be closer to the people for commerce and justice to be better served in growing communities. Territorial Bent County was created in February 1870, followed by Greenwood County the following month. The June 1, 1870, Federal Census was several months away and there were plans to apply for statehood. On February 2, 1874, Grand County and Elbert County were formed. On February 6, 1874, Greenwood County was dissolved and divided between Bent and Elbert counties. At the time of this annexation, Bent County included a large portion of southeastern Colorado. In 1889, Bent County acquired its current borders when it was partitioned to create Cheyenne, Lincoln, Kiowa, Otero, and Prowers counties.
Bent County is located in southeast Colorado approximately 80 miles from the New Mexico border and 38 miles from the Kansas border. Bent County is 36 miles from east to west and 43 miles from north to south, with a total land area of 970,880 acres.
Bent County is part of Congressional District 4; Senate District 2; House District 47 and the Southern CCI District.
The elevation of the county at the southern border is 5,000 feet. The southern portion of the county contains bluffs, mesas and canyons that open to the rolling plains of the Arkansas River valley. The Arkansas River, which sits at an elevation of approximately 3,775 feet at the eastern border of the county, runs from west to east in the northern half of the county. Las Animas lies at an elevation of 3,901 feet. The northern part of Bent County is a series of rolling plains that slope south to the Arkansas River.