Hon. B.F. Harding died at his home at Cottage Grove [OR], Friday June 16, 1899, from an attack of paralysis. He was [the] fourth secretary of the Territory of Oregon. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1832 and came to Oregon in 1849. He was U.S. attorney before the organization of state government, and was three times a member of the territorial legislature. In 1862 the legislative assembly elected him to fill the unexpired term of Edward D Baker, in the U.S. Senate, Baker having been killed at the head of his regiment in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Senator Harding served out the term and was succeeded March 4, 1865 by George H. Williams. Junction City Times (Oregon), Jun 24, 1899, pg. 5, col. 1.
Benjamin Franklin Harding’s grave stone Fir Grove Cemetery in Cottage Grove lists his date of birth at 1823 instead of 1832 as listed in the newspaper article. The Find a Grave site gives additional information on him and his family.