Benjamin B. Redding

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Benjamin Barnard Redding (January 17, 1824 – August 21, 1882) was a Canadian-born politician of California, and land agent with the Central Pacific Railroad. The town of Redding, California, was named after him.


Born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, he was educated at Yarmouth Academy. In 1840, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as a clerk. He entered the retail grocery and ship chandlery business in 1843.

In 1849, Redding organized a company of men and sailed from Yarmouth for the gold rush in California, where they arrived on May 12, 1850. He went to the Yuba River diggings and afterward to the Pittsburg bar, working as a mining laborer. He subsequently was associate editor of the Shasta Journal, was employed in drawing up papers for the sale of claims, acted as arbitrator, and was elected as a member of the California State Assembly, 1853–1854, from Yuba and Sierra counties. During the session, he wrote for the San Joaquin Republican and Sacramento's Democratic State Journal, of which he was an editor and proprietor.

His wife was Mary P.; they were the parents of William Redding (born ca. 1848 in Massachusetts); J. Albert Redding (born ca. 1850 in Massachusetts); George H. Redding (born ca. 1856 in California); and Joseph D. Redding (1859 in Sacramento-1932 in San Francisco).

In 1856, Redding was elected mayor of Sacramento. From 1863 to 1867, he was Secretary of State. He became land agent of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1868. When the Central Pacific reached Shasta County in the summer of 1872, the railroad company named the town of Redding, California, in his honor.

Redding was appointed a regent of the University of California to fill the unexpired term of Regent Frank M. Pixley, 1880-1882. He was reappointed in 1882. He was a member of the California Academy of Sciences, and of the Geographical Society of the Pacific. He was interested in all scientific work, especially in the paleontology of the coast, and collected numerous prehistoric and aboriginal relics, which he presented to the museum of the academy. He contributed a large number of papers to various California journals. He was also a California Fish Commissioner, holding this office at the time of his death.

Benjamin B. Redding died at age 58 of apoplexy in San Francisco. His funeral service took place at the First Congregational Church on August 23, 1882, with a large number of friends and acquaintances present, including a delegation from the offices of the Central Pacific Railroad Company and the Academy of Sciences, besides a number of regents from the State University.

Redding is interred in the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery in Sacramento, California.[1]


  1. ^ "Sacramento Historic City Cemetery Burial Index". Old City Cemetery Committee. 2005. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 

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Preceded by
Charles S. Fairfax
California State Assemblyman, 15th District
Succeeded by
Charles W. Dannals
Preceded by
James L. English
Mayor of Sacramento, California
Succeeded by
Joseph P. Dyer
Preceded by
A. A. H. Tuttle
Secretary of State of California
Succeeded by
Henry L. Nichols