Bedford is a city in Taylor County, Iowa, United States. The population was 1,440 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Taylor County. Lake of Three Fires State Park is located a few miles northeast of Bedford.
The community is believed to have gotten its name from Thomas J. Bedford, who was the first west bound Pony Express rider to deliver the mail on its final leg from Benicia, California to Oakland, California on April 23, 1861. Bedford is believed to have operated Bedfords Store and Trading Post in 1848 within the city limits. He moved to California later that year, in the California Gold Rush.
The community was called "Grove" when a post office was established on June 30, 1855. On June 24, 1856 it was changed to Bedford. Other histories have noted possible other sources of the name:
The community was formally established as the county seat of Taylor County by a legislative act in 1853. The town was formally laid out on lots sold on July 4, 1853 (which at the time identified the community as "Bedforde").