submitted by: Julia Johnson -

[Clark, Ella Steele]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    April 10, 1947    [p. 1]

Mrs. Ella Clark Dies Friday Evening

Mrs. John J. Clark, a resident of Bedford her entire life, died at the Municipal Hospital in Clarinda Friday evening, April 4, where she had been taken the Sunday previous for medical care.

Mrs. Clark was prominent in civic and social affairs of Bedford, her late husband being an editor and businessman here for many years.  She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and of the Rebekah Lodge at the time of her death, and was a member of the Pythian Sisters Lodge in Bedford, when that organization was active here.  She also belonged to the Twentieth Century Club and the City Federation of Women’s Clubs.

The funeral services were held at the Shum Funeral Home Sunday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Gordon F. MacLean.  The body was placed in the Mausoleum in Fairview cemetery, the Rebekah burial service being given at the cemetery.

Ella Steele, daughter of Charles M. and Sarah Noble Steele, was born in Bedford, Iowa, February 14, 1864, being aged 83 years, 1 month and 20 days at the time of her death.

On July 4, 1885, she was married to John J. Clark.  To them was born one daughter, Garland Clark Crum of Bedford, who survives.  She is also survived by two grandchildren, W. [illiam] E. [dwin] Crum III of Bedford, and Mrs. Ann Crum Swinehart of Sterling, Colo.; three great grandchildren and one sister, Mrs. Rose Steele Baker of Bedford.

[Steele, Charles M.]


Tuesday    February 13, 1906

A Pioneer Passes Away

Death of Charles M. Steele, One of Bedford’s Earliest Settlers

Died---Charles M. Steele, at his home in Bedford, Iowa, on Sunday evening, February 11th, 1906 at 4:20 o’clock, age 78 years, 6 months and 7 days.

Two weeks ago today Mr. Steele was taken suddenly ill, with severe pains in the region of the heart, the cause being attributed by the physicians to kidney disease.  Before he recovered from this attack pneumonia set in, which finally resulted in his death.

Charles M. Steele was born in England, August 4th, 1827.  When but a boy of 12 he came to America, landing in New York.  From there he came west and settled in Wisconsin where in 1851 he was married to Miss Sarah Noble.  To this union has been born six children; two died in infancy, and four, together with the wife, survive him.  The children all live at Bedford and are as follows:  William, Charles, Mrs. Ella Clark, and Mrs. Rose Baker.  His brother, Edward, now 85 years of age, resides at Groton, South Dakota, and one sister, whose home is in England, is still living.

One by one the old pioneers of our country are being called to their fathers; one by one the old settlers whose names were so prominently identified with the early history of our city are passing away.  Even now but a few remain.

In the death of Charles M. Steele, Bedford and Taylor County looses one who was perhaps the best known of all this class of hardy pioneers.  For just one half a century he has lived here, and during all that time he has taken an active part in all public enterprises, while in his business life the enterprises in which he has engaged were numerous and extensive, and were almost exclusively confined to Bedford and vicinity.

His success and prosperity were due first to his energy, thrift and keen business foresight, but with these was one characteristic without which these qualities might have profited him little, and which showed in every business venture, and that was his absolute confidence in the future of Bedford and Taylor County.  He showed by every act that he believed this to be the best country on earth; he was content to make this his life long home, and at no time would he have hesitated to risk his all on Bedford’s future prosperity.

Than Charles M. Steele there was no man better known in the county.  Every man, woman and child who were at all acquainted in Bedford knew him, and he always had a pleasant word for all.  No child was too small for him to notice and no man too poor for him to greet with the same frank, cheering smile he would have given the highest of the land.  In all ways he was an optimist.  He looked on the bright side and was never discouraged.  The disappointments in life were with him things to forget---a pleasurable incident, a thing to be retold, time and again.

He is gone, and places where he has been known for so many years will know him no more forever, but for many long years yet to come his name will live in the memory of the citizens of Bedford, and when the history of our city is written no name will appear more prominently than that of Charles M. Steele.  But yet in another place will his memory live, and that is in the hearts of those who have known his bounty.  Of this the world knows little, for he made no display of his benevolence.  But there are many widows and unfortunates who will miss him, and in whose hearts his memory will live as long as life lasts.

The funeral services will be held at the residence tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 p. m., conducted by Revs.  Jones and Barackman.  The Odd Fellows, of which order he has been a member for thirty-five years, will have charge of the obsequies, and the burial ceremonies will be conducted by the Bedford Lodge.  Interment will be made at Bedford cemetery.

[Steele, Charles M.]


Tuesday    February 13, 1906

The Odd Fellows will meet at I. O. O. F. hall tomorrow at 1 p. m. for the purpose of marching in a body to attend the funeral of the late brother Charles Steele.  We are authorized to request that each member of the Bedford lodge and visiting brothers will be at the hall promptly at 1 o’clock.

As a mark of respect to the family and to the memory of the departed, it has been decided to adjourn the afternoon session of the Farmer’s Institute tomorrow from 1:30 until 3:30 to permit all who so desire to attend the funeral of Charles Steele.

[Steele, Charles M.]


Friday     February 16, 1906    [p. 1]

Funeral of Charles Steele

The funeral of Charles M. Steele was held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the family residence in East Bedford.  Notwithstanding the extreme cold, the attendance was very large, all being present who could possibly find room in the house.

The funeral services were conducted by Revs. Jones and Barackman, and the burial ceremonies were in charge of the Odd Fellows.  Seventy-five members of the I. O. O. F. lodge were in the procession, and the ceremonies at the grave were the beautiful and impressive services as given in the ritual of the order.

The pallbearers were all old friends of the deceased, and brothers in the lodge.  They were R. A. Taylor, Jacob Cole, Isaac Kersey, A. E. Lake, Ed Cass and W. R. Coppel.

Bedford Free Press (Bedford, Iowa), Thursday, February 15, 1906
Charles M. Steele
Chas. M. Steele died at his home in Bedford about 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon, aged 78 years, 6 months and 7 days, after two weeks of severe suffering from a complication of diseases, the immediate cause being pneumonia followed by severe hemorrhages.
Charles M. Steele was born in England August 4, 1827 and in 1839 came to America. He soon emigrated from New York to Wisconsin where he was married in 1851 to Miss Sarah Noble. To them six children were born, two of whom died in infancy, the wife and four surviving children still residing in Bedford. The children are William, Charles, Mrs. Ella Clark and Mrs. Rose Baker and a brother Edward residing in South Dakota and a sister in England.
This is a brief obituary of a man quite well known throughout the county, having lived in Taylor county for the past fifty years. He bought a farm just east of Bedford about ten years ago which he occupied until he moved to Bedford several years ago when he bought a residence here and has since made it his home. He has engaged in numerous enterprises, investing heavily in Bedford real estate in which he had great confidence.
While living here he has served as councilman and has also been active in the Taylor County Fair Association.
The funeral was held from the residence Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock conducted by Revs. Jones and Barackman. The I. O. O. F. of which order deceased was a member conducted the burial at the Bedford cemetery.

[Steele, Sarah Ann Noble]


Thursday    August 18, 1910

Mrs. Sarah A. Steele

Friday evening took place the death of Mrs. Sarah A. [nn] Steele, widow of the late Charles M. Steele, after several weeks during which it was known that the end of life was near.  Funeral services were conducted at the residence by Rev. D. McMasters, pastor of the First Baptist church, assisted by Rev. S. E. Henry, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, at 2:30 o’clock Monday afternoon.  Mrs. Steele survived her husband about five years and with her have been residing Mr. and Mrs. J. [ames] H. [enry] Baker, her son-in-law and daughter.  While she had been gradually failing for several months, a few weeks ago the failing was faster and during this time one or the other of her daughters has been constantly at her bedside.

Sarah A. [nn] Noble was born in England in 1832.  She came to this country when she was 18 years of age, and at Janesville, Wis., in 1851, she was united in marriage with Charles M. Steele.  Fate caused this couple to locate in Bedford in 1856, as they had started out to reach points farther west.  The death of a child caused them to stop here and Taylor County has since been their home.

Mr. and Mrs. Steele lived on their farm until about fifteen years ago, when they came to Bedford, the farm which they left consisting of about a section of land.  They were the parents of six children, four of whom are living, all residents of Bedford, Mrs. John J. Clark [Ella], William J. Steele, Charles W. Steele, and Mrs. J. [ames] H. [enry] Baker [Rose].

Mrs. Steele was a member of the Baptist church, having been one of the first to join the Bedford organization and having been baptized by Rev. James Smith.

Bedford Free Press (Bedford, Iowa), Thursday, August 18, 1910, p. 1
Mrs. C. M. Steele – Sarah Noble was born in England in 1832 and died at her home in Bedford August 12, 1910. She moved with her parents to America at the age of 18 years and was united in marriage to C. M. Steele in 1851 at Jonesville, Wis. In 1856 they removed to Taylor County and Mrs. Steele united with the Baptist church and was baptized by Rev. Uncle James Smith.
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Steele, four of whom survive, Wm. H. Steele, Chas. W., Mrs. J. J. Clark and Mrs. J. H. Baker.
Funeral services were held at the home Monday afternoon at 3:30, after which the body was laid to rest in Bedford cemetery.

Bedford Free Press (Bedford, Iowa), Thursday, August 18, 1910, p. 6
Mrs. C. M. Steele died at her home in Bedford Friday night, after a long illness. Funeral services will be held at the home Monday afternoon at 2:30, conducted by Rev. D. McMasters, assisted by Rev. Henry. Interment will be made in the family lot in Bedford cemetery. The Rebekahs will have charge of the services at the grave.

[Baker, Rose Steele]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    May 31, 1951    [p. 1]

Mrs. J. H. Baker Dies In Maryville

Maryville---Mrs. J. [ames] H. [enry] Baker, a resident of Bedford most of her life, died at the home of her daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Jackson, Jr., at Maryville, May 29.

Funeral services were held at the Shum Funeral Home in Bedford at 11 a. m. Thursday, May 31, conducted by Rev. John A. Currie of Tarkio, Mo., former Bedford minister.  The body was placed in the Mausoleum in Fairview cemetery.

Rose Steele, daughter of Charles M. and Sarah Ann [Noble] Steele, was born in Bedford, Iowa, March 3, 1867, being aged 84 years, two months, 26 days at the time of her death.  She was one of a family of four children, two girls and two boys.

She was married to James Henry Baker, Nov. 16, 1899.  To them was born one daughter, Helen Baker Jackson, who survives.  There are also two grandchildren, Joe Jackson IV and Sally Ann Jackson.  Mr. Baker died May 17, 1923.

Mrs. Baker was Past Matron of Bedford chapter, Order of Eastern Star.

[Baker, Rose Steele]

Maryville Daily Forum

Tuesday    May 29, 1951      p. 1

Mrs. J. H. Baker Dies At Home of Daughter

Mrs. J. [ames] H. [enry] Baker [Rose Steele] died at 11 a. m. today at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Joseph Jackson [Helen] at 417 West Lincoln Street, where she had made her home for six years.  Her home formerly was in Bedford, Ia., where funeral services will be held.  Other arrangements for the services have not been made.  The body is at the Price funeral home.

The family requests no flowers.

[Baker, James Henry]


Thursday    May 17, 1923    [p. 1]

J. H. Baker Found Dead In His Bed

Well Known Bedford Citizen Dies Suddenly At The Hospital in Kirksville, Mo., Where He Has Been For The Past Month Taking Treatment

A telegram was received here this morning from Kirksville, Mo., announcing the death of J. [ames] H. [enry] Baker, one of Bedford’s best-known and influential citizens.  Later, word from the hospital where Mr. Baker had been taking treatment for the past six weeks, stated that the deceased had appeared in apparent good spirits and marked improvement the evening before, and sitting in the office of the superintendent of the hospital, had laughed and joked and appeared to feel that he was rapidly improving; and later on arose and went to his room.

About 10 o’clock this morning, the chambermaid on her morning duty, found the door locked, but could arouse nobody.  Others belonging to the hospital were summoned, and getting no reply from within forced the door in, and discovered Mr. Baker cold in death, no doubt having died without a struggle some time during the night.

As soon as his death was announced, the Shriners lodge at Kirksville immediately took charge of the remains and had the same prepared for shipment to his home, a delegation from the order accompanying the body here, which is expected to arrive tomorrow (Friday) on the evening train.  When the news of Mr. Baker’s death was announced about town, it was a great shock to all, as a number of people here, including his family, had received letters only yesterday, stating that he was feeling good and expected to arrive home Friday or Saturday, but to return again for further treatment.

Mr. Baker leaves to mourn his untimely taking off, his wife and daughter, Helen, and both of these are prostrated by the terrible shock.

Funeral services will be conducted from the family residence in northeast Bedford on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock, Rev. Lumbar of the Presbyterian Church officiating, and the funeral in charge of the Shriners and Masons, of which Mr. Baker was an honored member of high standing.  The remains will be interred in the new Bedford mausoleum, Mr. Baker being one of the first to make a selection of crypts in this beautiful new burial sanctuary.

The following members of the Masonic lodge will act as pall bearers for their departed brother:  James Salter, Walter Lake, J. E. Lovell, J. A. Minor, F. E. Payton, K. E. Stephens.

[Baker, James Henry]


Tuesday    May 22, 1923

Laid To Rest

Last Friday evening the body of the late J. [ames] H. [enry] Baker, of whose sudden passing away we mentioned in our last issue, arrived in the city on the evening train from the south, accompanied by Mr. Henry Gates, a member of the Shriners order of Kirksville, Mo., where Mr. Baker passed away.  The body was met at the train by a delegation of the Shriners and Masons, who escorted the remains of their departed brother to the family home in east Bedford, where the body laid in state until Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock when the funeral services were held.

The services at the home were conducted by Rev. Lumbar of the Presbyterian church, who delivered a very appropriate discourse, and told the brief history of the past life of the departed one, while the Presbyterian choir rendered some of their choicest selections.

At the close of these services the Masonic order took charge of affairs and arriving at the cemetery and just west of the new mausoleum, formed a square and the ritualistic work of the order carried out in a solemn and inspiring order.  After this the casket was carried into the mausoleum, where it was lifted into its crypt and the same sealed up for all time and eternity.

Masons and Shriners from all over the county and many from points outside of the county, who were personally acquainted with the deceased, were in attendance, the day being ideal, and the roads in fair condition.  It is stated that about 200 members of these orders were in attendance, and this, combined with the host of friends of the departed, made up one of the largest funeral cortege ever held in Bedford.

Two of the three brothers of the deceased arrived on the day previous to the funeral in response to telegrams announcing their brother’s sudden passing, Edward Baker of Oklahoma City, Okla., and George and his son George, Jr., of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Fred, the third brother, did not get here, the telegram failing to reach him in time to make the trip.

Yesterday morning, when an examination was made of the contents of his two grips, a note was found written in his little vest pocket book to his wife and daughter, dated 4-1-’23.  Also in a large envelope sealed was found his will, dated at Kirksville, May 5th, and which was filed in the Clerk’s office yesterday, in which he set out his wishes in the distribution of his estate.  Under his will each one of his brothers will receive one thousand dollars each and the remainder of his property goes to the widow and daughter.

At the home and at the cemetery, a veritable bank of flowers greeted the eye, showing the esteem and appreciation in which the deceased was held in the community.  Following is the obituary of the deceased:


James H. [enry] Baker, son of Edward W. and Mary Weikie Baker, was born at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., Jan. 9, 1865.  When he was 17 his father died, and the next year Mr. Baker became a traveling salesman and continued in this line of work for about 25 years.  For several years he represented the Sheboygan Chair Company of Wisconsin.

In 1899 Mr. Baker located in Bedford, and on November 16 of that year he married Miss Rose Steele.  To this union two children were born, one dying in infancy.

Besides his wife and daughter Helen, he leaves three brothers:  Edward of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; George of Shreveport, La., and Fred of Los Angeles, Calif.

Mr. Baker was a highly respected citizen, and a good businessman whose council was appreciated and sought.  He was a friendly associate and a good home provider.  In all of these relationships, he will be greatly missed.  He was also an interested and active member in the several Masonic organizations, Odd Fellows, and K. P. lodges.

The family has the sincere sympathy of a host of friends in their sudden bereavement.

[Steele, Martha E. “Mattie”]

Taylor County Republican

Thursday    October 19, 1882     [p. 1]


Died, a the residence of her parents [Leonard and Susan Steele], in Jefferson township, Taylor County, Iowa, on the 13th instant, Mattie [Martha]  E. Steele, aged 23 years, 5 months and 11 days.  Deceased was buried in the Platteville cemetery on the 14th inst., at 2 p. m., and was followed to her last lasting place by a large concourse of relatives and friends.

Six young ladies, her classmates in Sabbath School, acted as pallbearers.  The memorial services were conducted by Rev. Farlow, on Sabbath morning, at 11 o’clock.

Previous to the memorial services the Sabbath School appointed a committee to draft resolutions, and the following were unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That in the death of Mattie [Martha] Steele, the Sabbath School loses a valued assistant, a “bright and shining light,” an exemplary, consistent Christian, who faithfully performed every duty required of her.

Resolved, That we as a Sabbath School should so try to live that like our departed schoolmate, in the dying moment we may be enabled to say, “I am ready,” “All is well.”

Resolved, that we as a Sabbath School tender our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved parents, to whom she was ever a tender, faithful and devoted daughter.  Also to her brothers and sisters, to whom she was always a kind and affectionate sister.  Inasmuch as it hath pleased the Divine will of God to call from hence our beloved associate and fellow member of the Platteville Sabbath School, Mattie Steele, we, the surviving members, through this medium, desire to pay the last tribute of respect to the memory of one so universally beloved.  We recognize in the departed, one of sterling merit.  Gentle, kind and unassuming, she was ever faithful at her post of duty.  She will be missed in the home circle, in the Sabbath School class and in the choir, and while we feel loath to part with our friend and co-laborer, may we be enabled to say, “Thy will be done.”  No more will her sweet voice mingle with ours in singing the beautiful songs of Zion, but we feel that she is now singing one glad song of triumph in the heavenly choir.  When our labors are ended here on earth, may we rejoin her on the “Evergreen Shore.”

                                                                        Thos. Potter,

                                                                        S. B. Hickenlooper,

                                                                        Mrs. V. R. King,


[Steele, Nettie Brown]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    January 18, 1962    p. 5

Mrs. Steele Dies At Maryville

Mrs. Nettie B. Steele, 80, Maryville, died unexpectedly at 1:20 p. m. Tuesday, Jan. 9 at St. Francis hospital there.  She became suddenly ill while at a grocery store and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Mrs. Steele was born June 7, 1881, at Skidmore, Mo., the daughter of the late Daniel Brown and Ruth Watson Brown.  She was married Nov. 4, 1913, to Charles W. Steele of Bedford, who died Dec. 12, 1935.  She was a member of the Christian church.

Her survivors are two sisters, Mrs. Carrie Martin of Maryville, Mrs. Barbara Gilleland of Clearmont; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at two p. m. Friday at the Atchison Funeral Home, Maryville.  Burial in the Bedford cemetery.

[Crum, Rufus Penn]

Iowa South-West

Saturday    September 6, 1879    p. 3

----All Bedford was shocked Wednesday by the startling telegram from Iowa City that [Rufus] Penn Crum was no more.  He went from here there on a visit some time ago and was taken sick with the above unfortunate result.  M. [organ] M. Van Fleet received intelligence of his serious illness the first of the week, which stated that the attendant physicians had given up all hopes of recovery.  He had for several days been entirely unconscious, but a short time previous to his death, recovered, delivered several messages to his friends, and told them that he must die, but that he was ready and was not afraid to meet death.  After giving some instructions concerning his burial robes and funeral he calmly passed away.

[Crum, Rufus Penn]

Iowa South-West

Saturday    September 6, 1879    p. 3

----On receipt of the telegram on Monday, announcing the sad death of [Rufus] Penn Crum, Mr. W. [illiam] E. [dwin] Crum took the first train for Iowa City.  The funeral occurred yesterday, and Mr. Van Fleet and Mr. Crum are expected home tonight.

[Note:  Rufus Penn Crum died September 2, 1879, aged 20 years, 6 months, 6 days.  He is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa.

Source:  Iowa WPA Grave Registration Survey]

 [Crum, James Robert]


Thursday    December 7, 1922

Death of J. R. Crum

Rock Island, Ill., Dec. 4---James R. [obert] Crum died here Sunday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. H. [arry] J. Crum [Ida], after an illness of three weeks.  He would have been 86 years of age had he lived until December 18.

Mr. Crum was born in Cass County near Literberry.  He married Hannah E. Stout in 1858.  The couple made their home on a farm two miles west of Ashland, Ill., until 1896 when they removed to Bedford, Ia., where they resided until 1921, when on February 16, Mrs. Crum died, after almost 63 years of wedded life.

Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Ada C. Walbaum, Pleasant Plains, Ill.; Mrs. Lilah Terwillinger, Cleveland, O.; Mrs. H. [arry] J. Crum [Ida], Rock Island, Ill.; and one son, David W. Crum, of Iowa City, Iowa.

[Reynolds, Mary Louise Crum]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    July 27, 1950    [p. 1]

Mrs. Mary Reynolds Dies In Virginia

Mrs. Mary C. Reynolds of Bedford died at the Virginia Baptist Hospital in Lynchburg, Virginia, Saturday, July 22, following an illness of several months.

The body was returned to Bedford and the funeral services were held at the Wetmore Funeral Home Tuesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Gordon F. MacLean.

Mary Louise Crum, daughter of William E. [dwin] and Hattie Van Fleet Crum, was born in Bedford, Iowa, September 6, 1876, being aged 73 years, 9 months, 16 days at the time of her death.

In her youth she united with the Bedford Presbyterian Church.

On December 26, 1900 she was married to Hal R. [eede] Reynolds.  To them two daughters were born, Hortense R. Echols of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Harriet R. Noble, of Roslyn, New York, who survive.  There are also two grandchildren, Porter B. Echols, Jr., and Mary Crum Noble.

Her brother, John Van Fleet Crum, died May 3, 1896 and her other brother, W.[illiam] E. [dwin] Crum, Jr., resides in Bedford.  Her sister, Helen Crum Thompson is now in Paris, France.

[Crum, William Edwin “Bill”, III]

Bedford Times-Press

Wednesday    January 12, 1994     p. 8

W. E. Crum III

Funeral service for William E. [dwin] Crum III was held January 7, 1994 at Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home with Rev. Mark Woldruff officiating.  Military honors were conducted by John F. Hardin Post No. 164, Bedford American Legion.  Interment was at Fairview Cemetery, Bedford, Iowa.

W. [illiam] E. [dwin] Crum III “Bill”, son of W. [illiam] E. [dwin] Crum, Jr. and Garland Clark Crum, was born at Bedford, Iowa, February 13, 1918 and departed this life January 3, 1994 in Chandler, Ariz., at the age of 75.

He lived in Bedford and grew to maturity in Bedford where he attended the Bedford Public Schools through his sophomore year then enrolled in Wentworth Military Academy, Lexington, Mo.  He received an Associate in Arts degree in 1937.

On September 3, 1937 he was united in marriage to Virginia Perkins in Bedford.

To this union four children were born:  Jon Clark, W. E. IV (Ed), Michael Laird, Steven Perkins.

He was preceded in death by a son Steven and his parents.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Virginia, Chandler, Ariz.; son, Jon and wife Kathy, Scottsdale, Ariz., son Ed and wife Chris, Roseville, Calif., son Mike, La Habra, Calif.; 11 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, a lifetime member of the American Legion, was Bedford City Treasurer for over 30 years, and was a World War II veteran, Army Air Corps.

[Crum, William]

 Bedford Argus

Thursday    November 20, 1879     p. 4


Iowa City Press:

William Crum, born Feb. 4, 1818, in Lancaster, Pa., died in Iowa City, Iowa, Thursday, Nov. 13, 1879, aged 61 years, 9 months and 9 days.

When only twenty years of age Mr. Crum came West, settling at Bloomington, now Muscatine, in 1838, where he began the publication of one of Iowa’s first newspapers, the Standard.  When the territorial capitol was located at Iowa City, he printed an edition of his paper for this town and sent it up here for distribution to his subscribers, full of local notes and news.  He finally removed his office of publication and residence to this city and here continued to publish until his paper was merged into the Republican.  He continued to run a job printing office, for he was a practical printer and loved his trade, until the Avenue fire scattered his types, eleven years ago.  He prospered in business and was an exception to the rule that holds good among printers, the reason being that he was a man of wonderful business capacity and a close collector.  His Standard was the first paper printed in Muscatine and the first in Iowa City, for he brought it here in the spring of 1841, and the Reporter, the predecessor of the Press, was not issued until Dec. 4, 1841. 

Mr. Crum reared here a son, Wm. E. [dwin] Crum, now of Bedford, Iowa, and a daughter, now of Syracuse, New York.  His success in life, while attributable to his energy, was in a great degree the result of a happy domestic life; for though his path lay in shadow or sunshine, his home hearth was bright.  He was a man of many responsibilities and bore them in a manly fashion.  His last public duty was service as Treasurer of the State University, an office into which he brought the order and system and exactness which to a marvelous degree characterized him.

His life did not pass without some sharp antagonisms, but they were not on a petty scale, and, as a rule, involved some principle which manliness refused to surrender, and they leave no bitter memory to shadow his grave.  His last sickness was long and painful, but was borne with patience and resignation, lighted by the sincere devotion of a noble and inspiring wife.

His funeral was largely attended by old settlers, who testified their respect for the rugged and sterling qualities of our first printer.

[Van Fleet, Ellen Smith]

Bedford Free Press

Thursday    May 21, 1908    p. 4

Mrs. Ellen Van Fleet Dead

The death of one of the oldest of our citizens took place Saturday morning, May 18, 1908, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Hattie V. Crum, in Bedford, Iowa, in the demise of Mrs. Ellen [Smith] Van Fleet.  She was born in Hamilton, Butler Co., Ohio, on the 5th day of November 1828, and died May 16, 1908, making her 79 years, 6 months and 11 days old.  The deceased moved with her parents from Ohio to Indiana, then to Illinois and finally to Iowa in 1839, where she resided the remainder of her life.

She was united in marriage to Mr. John R. Van Fleet at Iowa City, Iowa, on the 22nd day of September, 1848, at which place she resided until they came to Bedford in 1877.  After the death of her husband, which occurred October 6, 1881, she went back to Iowa City and lived until 1902, when she came to live with her daughter and continued till death called her to the home on high.

To the above union were born eight children, four of whom survive her.  Mrs. Hattie V. Crum of Bedford, Iowa; Mrs. Ella V. Henley of Davenport; M. [organ] M. Van Fleet of Denver, Colo., and Mrs. Maud V. Porter, of Oskaloosa, Iowa.

She united with the Christian church at Iowa City in 1862 and at the time of her death she was an honored member of the church in Bedford.  Her life was pure as the morning dew.  Her influence will live long after she is gone back to the dust of the centuries.  She will be sorely missed in the church where she took so much delight in worshipping her Lord and Master.

The funeral was held at the Crum home on Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, conducted by her pastor, Geo. A. Hendrickson assisted by Rev. Henry of the Presbyterian Church.  At 9 o’clock Sunday evening the train bore all that was mortal of this good woman back to Iowa City, where the body will rest until the resurrection morning.   The music was furnished by a quartette of singers composed of Jas. W. Beauchamp, Mrs. Berry, Miss Jennie Turner and Mr. M. L. Burt.  The following were the pallbearers:  G. M. Bradley, W. Hall, Jas. Beauchamp, G. S. McKinley, H. Montgomery and Dr. Dunlavy.

Mr. and Mrs. W. [illiam] E. [dwin] Crum accompanied the remains to Iowa City where the funeral occurred Monday afternoon.  The two other daughters of the deceased, Mrs. Henley and Mrs. Porter, and a nephew, D. N. Smith, of Lenox, also attended the services at Iowa City.

The bereaved have the sympathy of the entire community.

[Van Fleet, Ellen Smith]


Thursday    May 21, 1908    p. 5


Mrs. Ellen Van Fleet nee Smith was born at Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio, November 5, 1828.  When only [a] small child she moved with her parents to Indiana, then to Illinois, and later to Iowa, settling in this state in 1839.  On December 22, 1848, deceased was united in marriage to John R. Van Fleet, the wedding ceremony taking place at the home of the bride’s parents in Iowa City.  After their marriage the young couple begun life’s journey together at Iowa City, making that their home until 1877, when they moved to Bedford.  From that time on, until the husband and father was called hence, Mr. and Mrs. Van Fleet resided here.  After Mr. Van Fleet’s death on October 6, 1881, the widowed mother returned to her former home at Iowa City, where she lived until 1902, when she gave up housekeeping and went to live with her daughters.

To Mr. and Mrs. Van Fleet were born eight children, of whom four survive.  They are:  Mrs. Hattie V. Crum, of Bedford; Mrs. Ella V. Henley, of Davenport; M. [organ] M. Van Fleet, of Denver, Colo., and Mrs. Maud Porter, of Oskaloosa.

In 1862, while residing in Iowa City, Mrs. Van Fleet united with the Christian church, and during all her after life remained a devoted member of that church.

Her death occurred on Saturday morning, May 16.  The funeral was held at the home of her daughter, Mrs. W. [illiam] E. [dwin] Crum, Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, conducted by Rev. Geo. A. Hendrickson, and in the evening her mortal remains were taken to the train to be carried to Iowa City, where they were laid to rest beside her husband to await the great awakening.

[Van Fleet, Ellen Smith]

The Iowa City Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa)

Monday    May 18, 1908     p. 5

Mrs. VanFleet Dead

Pioneer Answers Summons

Died At Bedford Saturday, Resided Here Nearly Sixty Years

Mrs. Ellen Vanfleet [Van Fleet], a pioneer resident of Iowa City, passed away Saturday morning at the ripe old age of seventy-nine years of age.  She had been in declining health for several months.

Mrs. Vanfleet came to Iowa over sixty years ago with her parents, and at the age of nineteen was united in marriage with John Vanfleet, one of the best known citizens of Johnson County.   Mr. Vanfleet passed away some years ago, and about three years ago, Mrs. Vanfleet left Iowa City and has made her home with her children.  The old Vanfleet homestead is at the corner of Dubuque and Bloomington Streets, and is now used as a fraternity house.

The name of Vanfleet is a familiar one in Iowa City and Johnson County.  Mr. Vanfleet dealt extensively in land, and was a man of large means.  Mrs. Vanfleet was a leading woman in the community, possessing the love and affection of all who knew her.

The immediate relatives of Mrs. Vanfleet are Morgan Vanfleet of Colorado, a son, and three daughters, Mrs. Hattie Crum of Bedford at whose home Mrs. Vanfleet died; Mrs. Ella Henley of Davenport and Mrs. Maude Porter of Oskaloosa.   Chas. Smith of Iowa City was a brother, and Mrs. Margaret Tucker who resides with her daughter, Mrs. Albert Kloos, a sister.  Other sisters were Mrs. Elizabeth Tenay of Adel and Mrs. Hattie Burgan of Colorado.  Jesse Henley of Davenport, a student in the University, is a grandson of the deceased.

The funeral of Mrs. Vanfleet was held this afternoon at 2 o’clock from the Christian church.  A large number, particularly of the older people of the city who knew Mrs. Vanfleet, were present.