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 449
Among the successful business men of Bedford is George William Hook, junior partner of the firm of Willis & Hook, dealers in hardware and furniture.  He has sought his success in the legitimate lines of trade and has closely followed the old and time-tried maxims such as "Honesty is the best policy" and "There is no excellence without labor."  He has lived in Bedford from the age of eight years, his birth having occurred, however, in Lowry City, Missouri, December 27, 1870.  His parents were William and Cynthia Hook, the former born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Kentucky.  James Hook, the paternal grandfather, was also a native of Pennsylvania and was of Scotch descent.  He lived for a considerable period in Greene county, Pennsylvania, and came to Iowa just after the close of the Civil war, his last days being spent in Agency, this state, where he died at the age of seventy-three.  They were the parents of thirteen children.  The maternal grandfather of George W. Hook (page 450) was a native of Georgia and devoted his life to the occupation of farming.  Removing to St. Clair county, Missouri, he there reached old age ere he was called to his final rest.  His wife bore the maiden name of Sarah Hinkle and had also reached old age when called to the home beyond.  They were the parents of four sons and three daughters.
William Hook was reared in Ohio and during the pioneer epoch in the history of Iowa came to this state, arriving fifty-eight years ago.  He settled on the present site of the city of Ottumwa and there purchased a tract of land, which he developed into a well-improved and valuable farm.  When the war broke out he and five of his brothers went to the army but after serving for a sort time he was so seriously injured that he was discharged.  When unfitted for further duty at the front he made his way to St. Clair county, Missouri, where his first wife, Mrs. Amy (Clark) Hook, died.  Later he was there married to Mrs. Cynthia Barnett, nee Hopkins, and they returned to Iowa, settling in Bedford, Taylor county, where they lived for many years.  They afterward removed to Clearfield, where Mr. Hook died in 1905, at the age of seventy-five years.  He had never been ill a day until he sustained a stroke of paralysis, which was the beginning of the end.  His widow still survives him and resides in Clearfield.  Both were members of the Methodist church.  Their family numbered two sons and a daughter: George W.; Mattie, the wife of Dr. F. P. Carry, of Clearfield; and Walter, who died in infancy.
In taking up the personal history of George W. Hook, we present to our readers the life record of one who is well known in Bedford, where he has lived from his early youth.  He acquired his preliminary education in the public schools here and afterward attended a business college in Quincy, Illinois.  Subsequently he engaged in clerking in Bedford for several years but put aside all business and personal considerations at the time of the outbreak of the war with Spain, and became a private in Company I, Fifty-first Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving with that command until mustered out with the regiment.  After the war he returned home, was married and began farming, which pursuit he followed for five years but thinking to find commercial interests more congenial and profitable, he formed a partnership with C. L. Willis and embarked in the hardware and furniture business, in which he still continues.  He now has a well-appointed store, tasteful in its arrangement and attractive in the lines of goods carried.  His business methods, too, are such as will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny and the honesty which he displays in all trade relations is one of the strong features of his success.
On the 19th of September, 1900, Mr. Hook was united in marriage to Miss Jessie Boyd, a daughter of John S. and Simildi (Reynolds) Boyd.  There were three children of that marriage, Ruth, John and Mary, who are still under the parental roof.  Mrs. Hook was born in Marshall township, this county, her parents coming from Ohio to Iowa more than a half century ago.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Hook are members of the Methodist church and he is identified with Taylor Lodge, No. 156, A. F & A. M.; Triangle Chapter, No. 68, R. A. M., and Bedford Lodge, No. 91, I. O. O. F.  His political endorsement is given to the republican party but the honors and emoluments of office have no attraction for him, as he prefers to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs.  He is (page 451) always prominent and active in movements for the public good, however, and at the Chautauqua held in Bedford in the summer of 1908, he had the pleasure of entertaining at his home General John C. Black, who was connected with the Civil Service Commission, and also commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.  In addition to his property in Bedford he owns a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Marshall township and as the land is rich and productive he derives therefrom a substantial income.  He is yet a young man, possessed of the enterprising spirit which has been the dominant factor in the upbuilding of the middle west.  Whatever he undertakes he accomplishes, whether it be for the welfare of the community or for individual interests.  His social qualities, too, endear him to his associates, who find him a genial, cultured gentleman, displaying at all times deference for the opinions of others and readily appreciative of good qualities in those with whom he comes in contact.