Historical Marker #1363, located three miles south of Springfield, commemorates the life of Ben Hardin, a noted politician and attorney.
Hardin was born on February 29, 1784, at the Georges Creek settlement on the Monongahela River in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Four years later, he moved with his parents to Washington County, Kentucky. Hardin attended schools in Nelson and Washington counties before studying law. He was admitted to the bar in 1806 and practiced law in Elizabethtown before settling in Bardstown two years later.
Hardin soon became a prominent Kentucky politician. He was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives during the 1810-1811 and 1824-1825 sessions, and served in the Kentucky Senate from 1828–1832. He was elected as a Republican to the Fourteenth Congress (March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1817) and reelected as a Republican to the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Congresses (March 4, 1819 – March 3, 1823). He was elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-third and Twenty-forth Congresses (March 4, 1833 – March 3, 1837).
After leaving Congress, Hardin served as the Kentucky Secretary of State from 1844–1847 and was a member of the Kentucky constitutional convention in 1849. He died in Bardstown on September 24, 1852, and was buried in the family burying ground near Springfield, Kentucky.