History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 363
Honored and respected by all, there is no man who occupies a more enviable position in professional and financial circles in Taylor county than William E. Crum, an able attorney-at-law and the president of the Bedford National Bank.  In his practice he holds to a high standard of professional ethics and while his devotion to his clients' interests in proverbial, he never forgets that he owes a higher allegiance to the majesty of the law.  In his outside business affairs as well, he is known as a man of the utmost reliability as well as keen discernment and of unfaltering enterprise and, as the head of the Bedford National Bank, is controlling one of the most substantial financial concerns of this part of the state.  He is one of Iowa's native sons, his birth having occurred in Muscatine county, February 22, 1845.  The family comes of German lineage, and was early founded in Pennsylvania, where Peter Crum, the grandfather of William E. Crum, was born and reared.  He was a farmer by occupation and removing to the west, died near Indianapolis, Indiana, when past middle life.  He married a Miss Eichelberger and their son, William Crum, became the father of William E. Crum of this review.  He was a native of Pennsylvania and a printer by trade.  The year 1839 witnessed his arrival in what was then the territory of Iowa, for the state had not yet been admitted to the Union.  He located in Bloomington, now Muscatine, and established one of the first newspapers in Iowa.  When the capitol was removed from there to Iowa City, he made change in his place of residence and in Iowa City published the Iowa Standard.  Later he conducted only a job printing office, also giving much time to the supervision of his landed interests, for from time to time he had made judicious investments in real estate.  For a number of years he was also treasurer of the Iowa State University.  He left the impress of his individuality in many ways upon the growth and development of the state, his labors constituting a valuable and essential factor in the work of general improvement.  He married Elvira Odell, a native of Ohio, in which state her father, the Rev. Odell was also born.  He was a Methodist minister and became one of the pioneer preachers of Muscatine county, Iowa, where he died when more than sixty years of age.  He married a Miss Drake who died comparatively young.  They were the parents of ten children, including Mrs. Crum, who was a lady of many excellent traits of character, her life being in consistent harmony with her profession as a member of the Presbyterian church.
(Page 364) The death of William Crum occurred in Iowa City when he was sixty-two years of age, his wife surviving him for several years.
William E. Crum, whose name introduces this record, spent his boyhood in Iowa City, where he attended the public schools, later supplementing his early education by study in the state university.  He was graduated from the law department there in 1869, and the same year was admitted to the bar.  For a year he remained there and was married in Iowa City, in April, 1870. Soon afterward he came to Bedford where he has continued in practice to the present time and throughout the intervening years has been accorded by the consensus of public opinion a foremost position as a representative of the Taylor county bar.  His knowledge of the law is comprehensive and exact, his application correct, his reasoning clear and cogent and his deductions logical.  He has, therefore, been accorded an extensive clientage, his ability enabling him to successfully solve intricate legal problems while with most important litigation tried in the courts of the district he has been connected.
In 1871, Mr. Crum formed a partnership with J. R. Van Fleet, his father-in-law, and opened a banking business under the firm name of Crum & Van Fleet.  This association was continued for a number of years when the business was reorganized under a co-partnership and conducted under the name of the Bedford Bank.  A further change was made when in 1899, the Bedford National Bank was organized with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, to which is now added a surplus of fifty thousand dollars.  Mr. Crum was its first president with F. E. Walker as vice-president and Charles E. Martin as cashier.  In 1908 they erected a new bank building, the cost of which was in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars.  It is supplied with a time lock and the latest modern improvements and equipments and its securities are such to render it one of the safest moneyed institutions of this part of the state.
On the 26th of April, 1870, Mr. Crum was married to Miss Harriet R. Van Fleet, a daughter of John R. and Ellen (Smith) Van Fleet.  Mrs. Crum was born in Iowa City, while her father was a native of Pennsylvania and her mother of Ohio.  They became early settlers of Johnson county, Iowa, where they reared a family of eight children, four of whom reached years of maturity, namely: Harriet R.; Ella V., the wife of H. M. Henly, of Davenport, Iowa; Morgan M. Van Fleet, living in Reno, Nevada; and Maud V., the wife of Charles Porter, of Oskaloosa.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Crum were born two sons and two daughters.  John R., the eldest, died at the age of twenty-six years.  He was graduated from the Iowa State University.  On completing the collegiate and law courses, he entered upon the practice of law in Bedford but at the time of his death was residing temporarily in Des Moines.  He was greatly interested in athletics during his college days, becoming especially well known as a sprinter and his geniality made him a great favorite with his fellow students.  Mary L. is the wife of Hal R. Reynolds, assistant cashier of the Bedford National Bank and they have two children -- Hortense and Harriet.  William E., a graduate of the Orchard Lake Military Academy and from the law department of the State University of Iowa, is now practicing his profession as junior member of the firm of Crum, Jaqua & Crum.  Helen V. is the wife of John M. Thompson, of Boise City, Idaho, and they have (page 365) a daughter Virginia. The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Crum is serving as an elder.  In the work of the church they are actively interested, doing all in their power to promote its growth and extend its influence.  Politically Mr. Crum is a republican and served for one term as mayor of Bedford and for two terms as a member of the board of supervisors.  His ambition, however, has not been in the line of office seeking yet he is remiss in no duty of citizenship nor does he withhold his support from any movement which he deems of benefit to the community.  He is a strong man, strong in his ability to plan and perform, strong in his honor and in his good name.  Whatever he undertakes he accomplishes and the methods that he pursues are such as will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny.