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Bent's Fort was built in 1833 by William and Charles Bent for use as a trading post with Plains Indians and trappers. As the brothers' trading empire grew to the Mexican trade centers of Taos and Santa Fe, Bent's Fort became the center of operations. Trade was primarily conducted with Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians for buffalo robes. Because the fort was the only White settlement on the Santa Fe Trail, it served explorers, adventurers, and the U.S. Army as a place to get needed supplies, wagon repairs, livestock, food, water, rest, and protection from the Indians. In 1849, the fort was destroyed. Some researches believe it was attacked by Indians, while others believe it was blown up by the Bent Brothers after a failed attempt to sell it to the U.S. Army.