Bent County is named for William Bent, who was a frontier trader.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Kiowa County
E – Prowers County
W – Otero County
Created: February 11, 1870
Boggsville 1870 – 1872
Las Animas 1872 – present
County Courthouse – Las Animas
Location: 725 Bent Avenue / 8th Street
Built: 1887 – 1889
Style: Queen Anne
Architect: Holmberg Brothers
Contractor: M F Reilly and B Bradley
Description: The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building is located on the spacios grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Las Animas. There is extensive beige colored stone trim. The west front of the building has a slightly projecting center section with a small one story portico on the first story. Above the entrance is a large window and the building rises to a peaked roof. On each corner of the building is a square tower which is open on the second story and rises to a mansard roof. The building has arched windows. The roof is hipped. In the interior, the courtroom is located on the second story. The building houses the County District Court and County Court of the 16th Judicial District. On the north side of the building is the old jail constructed in 1902.
Note: The land for the courthouse was given by the Honorable James C Jones on February 18, 1887.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Bent County Courthouse
History: The county was created in 1870 and Las Animas was selected as the county seat. In 1870 the county seat was moved to Boggsville. In 1872, the county seat was moved to Las Animas. In 1870, the county occupied rented premises as the first courthouse. In 1875 the county seat was changed to West Las Animas/Las Animas. The building was destroyed by fire in 1888. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1887 to 1889 at as cost of $58,429.
County Courthouse - Las Animas
Photos taken 2006