For many years Benjamin Harding was a leading free-soil man and a resident of Doniphan County, Kansas. A native of Otsego County, New York, born in November, 1815, at the age of twenty-five he became a resident of Livingston County, Missouri, and in 1842 entered the Indian trade at the Great Nemaha Agency. He moved to St. Joseph in 1849, but re-entered the Indian trade at Wathena, Kansas, in 1852. In 1854, while serving there as a judge of election he incurred the enmity of the pro-slavery people, and twice reported at Leavenworth to answer charges brought against him, which were finally dismissed. He was a delegate to the Big Springs convention of 1855; served in the Territorial Council in 1857, 1858 and 1859; was a member of the Railroad convention of 1860, and held the office of register of deeds of Doniphan County in 1862-66, after which he passed a somewhat retired life. He died at his home in Wathena, January 15, 1904.