1850: The Valentine F. Clouse memorial on findagrave.com indicates that he was born on September 4, 1850 and indicates that his parents were George Clouse and Mary Christina (Friend) Clouse.
1852-1936: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that George Clouse's son Valentine Feltus Clouse was born in 1852 and died in 1936, was a gunsmith, carpenter, and laborer, and lived his entire life in Lafayetteville, Woodbury Township.
The following three items are from the 1933 book "Historical sketches of Morrisons Cove" by C. W. Karns:
1875: The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" puts Valentine "Felty" Clouse in South Woodbury Township of Bedford County in 1875, and states that he died circa 1927. The estimated year of death is wrong by nearly a decade.
1878: The following item from the 1878-1879 edition of "Farquhar's Official Directory of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" identifies Valentine Clouse as a laborer in New Enterprise, South Woodbury Township.
1880: In the 1880 federal census, Christiann Clouse is enumerated as a 52-year-old German-born individual. Living in her household are 28-year-old Pennsylvania-born gunsmith Valentine Clouse, along with 18-year-old George, 16-year-old Harmon, and 12-year-old Lydia.
According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Valentine Clouse (initials "V. F. C. "), son of the gunsmith George Clouse, worked as a gunsmith in South Woodbury Township, Bedford County in the 1900s, and made excellent small-sized rifles that usually did not have patch boxes and sold for $15.00.
The following excerpt is from Van Horn's 1986 book "Bible, Axe, and Plow":
1899: The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" puts Valentine "Felty" Clouse in South Woodbury Township of Bedford County in 1875, and states that he died circa 1927. The estimated year of death is wrong by nearly a decade.The December 12, 1899 issue of the "Altoona Tribune" newspaper includes the statement "Valentine Clouse is the champion hunter of Morrison Cove. He has succeeded in capturing two fine deer."
1902: The 1953 edition of Gluckman's "American Gun Makers" puts Valentine "Felty" Clouse in South Woodbury Township of Bedford County in 1875, and states that he died circa 1927. The estimated year of death is wrong by nearly a decade.The following image from a 1902 topographical map shows the location of Brumbaugh, where the distillery was located. The mountain north of Brumbaugh is readily identifiable as Dunning Mountain.
Now I can tell you from long personal experience that the compass-based directions people in these mountains give are "unique". While Dunning Mountain is indeed kind of "north" of Brumbaugh, most folks from any other region would (I think) describe it as being west of Brumbaugh. This leads me to the next point. As described in the excerpts above, Felty Clouse lived on his father George's place. I strongly suspect that is the "G. Clouse" residence that is illustrated along Dunning Mountain and south of Brumbaugh on the following map, which is from the 1877 book "County Atlas of Bedford, Pennsylvania". In other words, I think Felty lived south of Brumbaugh, along the mountain that is located west of Brumbaugh.
1861: As shown below, the "G. Clouse" residence also appears on the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County:
1936: Felty Clouse is buried in the New Enterprise Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone states, "Valentine F. Clouse 1850 -- 1936". His memorial on findagrave.com indicates that he died on January 9, 1936.
The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker and Yantz includes various oral traditions about Felty, such as deciding God was opposed to him marrying because he nearly drowned fording Yellow Creek when going home after courting a woman who lived in Hopewell. Another story is that Felty died due to smoke inhalation from a fire originating from his pot-bellied stove, and his body was found in his favorite chair in a basement area, his pipe still clenched in his mouth. The book reports that he had a significant gun collection that included an 1850-dated rifle by Daniel Border.
The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" reports that the Baker Mansion History Museum in Altoona, Pennsylvania has in its possession a signed double gun (one barrel rifled, one smoothbore) that was produced by Valentine Feltus Clouse.
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