|5th Mayor of Missoula|
May 3, 1887 – May 6, 1888
|Preceded by||J.P. Smith|
|Succeeded by||David D. Bogart|
|Died||July 3, 1904 (age 70)
|Profession||butcher, miner, mayor|
Dwight Harding (1834 – July 3, 1904) was a butcher, miner and the 5th mayor of Missoula, Montana. He was born in Tunkhancock, Pennsylvania in 1834 and left home for the first time in 1856 when he moved to Minnesota. He headed west into the Canadian territory two years later and returned to the United States in 1863 after being employed by American surveyors to help establish the US–Canadian border. Harding joined the gold rush in Montana's Alder Gulch and spent the next several years in various gold camps in western Montana before finally settling in Missoula in 1866. Harding brought "Harding and Company" to Missoula to engage in the butchering business. He returned to mining for two years, bought and sold a ranch, and finally returned to butchering in Missoula where he became the principal member of two establishments.
In 1874, Harding ran for Sheriff of Missoula County as a Republican, but was defeated by John Miller when Democrats won all the seats that year except those of Daniel Woodman and Missoula co-founder Frank Worden who ran as Republicans. He lost again two years later running on the People's Party ticket when the Democratic Party had again swept the election. He was elected mayor on May 3, 1887 and would remain in the position for one year. He died July 3, 1904 and is buried in Missoula Cemetery.
- "Missoula Mayors Interred at the Missoula Cemetery – Dwight Harding". City of Missoula. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Leeson, Michael A. History of Montana. 1739–1885. Warner, Beers & Co. 1885.