B. W. Crain, Jr. was born in Longview, Texas, and after graduating from Longview High School, headed to the University of Texas, School of Architecture in Austin.
After finishing his degree at UT, Crain next moved on to Harvard University, where he earned a Master's degree in 1939. The Second World War interrupted his newly launched career and B. W. Crain answered the call of duty to serve in the United States Navy. During his service, Crain took part in several landings in the Pacific war and by the war's end had received numerous commendations and a Purple Heart. After the war, Crain joined the architectural firm of Wilson and Morris in Houston, Texas; shortly after joining, the firm became known as Wilson, Morris, and Crain.
In 1948, Crain moved back to Longview where he continued working for the firm. Over the years, the company designed many of the landmarks found in Gregg County and across the state. In Longview, B. W. Crain designed the First State Bank Building in 1959, Longview National Bank in 1960, and the sanctuaries for the First Baptist Church and the Trinity Episcopal Church. The Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson firm built the Bramlette Building in 1948, and the Gregg Memorial Hospital in 1951. Other buildings designed by the firm, included the Rogers Lacy Office Building, Southwest Electric Power Co. Building, and in the 1970s, the Longview's City Hall and Police Building. B. W. Crain is famously known for building theater type buildings, including the Erwin Center at the University of Texas in Austin, and mid-century modern structures.