Henry Valentine Clouse, Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

Introduction: Henry Valentine Clouse is known as a Bedford County gunsmith from census records.

1811: Two websites indicate that Henry Valentine Clouse was born in Heinbach in the Landgraviate of Hesse Cassel on September 12, 1811.

1842: In the February 1976 issue of the "Laurel Messenger" an individual was soliciting genealogy correspondence on the Clouse family, and referenced "Henry Valentine Clouse settled Bedford Penn from Germany 1842".

Circa 1845: The 1860 census suggests that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a daughter named Susan who was born circa 1845.

1847: The 1860 census suggests that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a son named Herman who was born circa 1847. An individual named Harmon H. Clouse is buried in the Confluence Baptist Cemetery in Somerset County Pennsylvania, where his tombstone indicates he was born in 1847 and died in 1903. A website indicates he was a son of Henry Valentine Clouse. His tombstone at the Confluence Baptist Cemetery in Somerset County, Pennsylvania gives his first name as Harmon and indicates he was born in 1847 and died in 1903. His obituary, which indicates he was born on June 6, 1847 in Bedford County, follows:

1849: The 1860 census suggests that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a daughter named Eliza who was born circa 1849. To the best I can determine, the inscription on a tombstone in the Providence Union Church Cemetery in Bedford County states, Ellasetta wife of D. McFarland, died June 12, 1883 aged 33 ys. 8 ms. 12 ds." Based on the tombstone inscription, Ellasetta was born in 1449. A website indicates that she was a daughter of Henry Valentine Clouse. I suspect the 1860 census taker misheard Ellasetta's name as Eliza.

1849-1881: The 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, & Somerset Counties" by Whisker & Yantz puts Henry Valentine Clouse in South Woodbury Township of Bedford County from 1849 to 1881. I cannot reconcile this statement with the information I found, which is included below. The 2001 book indicates that Henry Valentine Clouse appears on the tax rolls with various occupations such as locksmith, whitesmith, and farmer.

Here is the definition of a Whitesmith from Webster's 1874 "A Dictionary of the English Language":

The 2001 Whisker and Yantz book indicates that Henry Valentine Clouse was a brother of the gunsmith George Clouse, which made him the uncle of the gunsmith Valentine Feltus Clouse.

1850: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Henry "Clause" is identified as a gunsmith on the 1850 federal census of South Woodbury Township, Bedford County.

1852: The 1953 edition of the book "American Gun Makers" puts Henry Clouse in Broadtop Township of Bedford County in 1852.

1852: The 1860 and 1870 censuses suggest that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a son named Philip who was born circa 1852. The 1884 book "History of Guthrie and Adair Counties, Iowa" indicates that a son named Phillip was born to Henry V. Clouse in 1852, stating, "Philip Clouse, son of Henry and Barbara A. (Metz) Clouse, came to their present location on section 14 in February, 1882. He was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, in February, 1852. He left Pennsylvania in 1881, coming to Iowa, settling in Cedar county, where remaining but a short time, he came to his present location. He was married in Pennsylvania, July 14, 1872, to Miss Martha E. Brawlyer, a native of Pennsylvania. They have had six children--Willie A., David H., William, George, Sarah, and an infant. He has one hundred and twenty acres of land, nearly all under cultivation. He raises large stocks of cattle and hogs, and has some horses. He is road supervisor of Highland township, and is a member of the German Baptist church. Mr. Clouse had the misfortune to lose his good wife and infant child in the spring of 1884." Phillip's tombstone in the Brethren Cemetery in Guthrie County, Iowa indicates that he was born in 1852 and died in 1936.

1854: The 1860 and 1870 censuses suggest that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a daughter named Flora Ann who was born circa 1854 ("F" is given for the sex of the child in both censuses). It appears that the census taker misheard the name of the child, and incorrectly guessed the sex. The following item is from the February 12, 1937 issue of the "Everett Press". It indicates that Henry V. Clouse and his wife Barbara A. (Metz) Clouse were born in Germany, and had a son named Florian E. Clouse who was born on January 23, 1854 in Hopewell Township, got married, farmed, and fathered a number of children. The Germany reference is harmonious with Henry V. Clouse being a brother of the Bedford County gunsmith George Clouse. Florian's tombstone in the Rays Cove Christian Church Cemetery in Bedford County indicates he was born on January 23, 1854 and died on February 8, 1937.

1854: The following death certificate also indicates that Henry V. Clouse's son Florian was born on January 23, 1854.

1856: The 1860 and 1870 censuses suggest that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a son named William who was born circa 1856. A William T. Clouse is buried at the Park Valley Cemetery in Dawson County, Nebraska, where his tombstone inscription indicates he was born on July 22, 1856 and died on April 16, 1943. His obituary gives his middle name as Tecumseh Clouse and indicates he was born on July 22, 1856 in Hopewell of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. A website indicates he is the son of Henry Valentine Clouse.

1858: The 1860 and 1870 censuses suggest that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a daughter named Catherine who was born circa 1859. A tombstone in the Bethel Brethren Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania is inscribed, 'Catherine Clouse wife of Henry Border born Jan. 31, 1858 died July 17, 1918". A website indicates this individual was a daughter of Henry V. and Barbara Clouse.

1860: The following excerpt is from the 1860 census of West Providence Township:

1861: The following image from the West Providence portion of the 1861 Walker map of Bedford County identifies the residence of H. V. Clouse:

1862: The 1870 census suggests that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a son named Theodore who was born circa 1862. A Theodore Clouse is buried in the Yale Cemetery in Guthrie County, Iowa, where his tombstone indicates he was born in 1862 and died in 1947. A website indicates this individual was a son of Henry V. and Barbara Clouse.

1863-1881: The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" indicates that George Clouse's brother Henry Valentine Clouse was in South Woodbury Township from 1863 to 1881.

1864: The 1870 and 1880 censuses indicate that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a son named David who was born circa 1864-1865. The following death certificate indicates that a son David B. Clouse was born to Henry V. Clouse on February 22, 1864. David's tombstone in the Rays Cove Christian Church Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania indicates he was born in 1864 and died in 1942.

Circa 1867: The 1870 and 1880 censuses indicate that Herman V. and Barbara A. Clouse had a son named Samuel who was born circa 1867-1868.

1870: A 63-year-old Henry V. Clouse is enumerated in West Providence Township, Bedford County in the 1870 federal census. In the same household were 46-year-old Barbara A Clause, 18-year-old Philip Clause, 16-year-old Frora ann (i.e. Florian) Clause, 14-year-old William Clause, 11-year-old Catharine Clause, 8-year-old Theodore Clause, 6-year-old David Clause, and 3-year-old Samuel Clause.

1877: On the following excerpt from the West Providence portion of the 1877 "County Atlas of Bedford, Pennsylvania" the H. V. Clouse residence is identified as the "H. Cloves" residence:

1878: The 1878-1879 edition of "Farquhar's Official Directory of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" lists a laborer named Henry Clouse in Tatesville, Hopewell Township. I think this just means he was served by the Tatesville Post Office.

1880: Valentine Clouse appears in the 1880 federal census of the Borough of Hopewell (Broad Top Township) as a 70-year old Hesse Cassel-born gunsmith living with 56-year-old Barbara, 15-year-old David, and 12-year-old Samuel.

1890: A Henry V. Clause who died October 22, 1890 is buried in the Providence Union Church Cemetery (40.02806978, -78.33230033), Everett, West Providence Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

1904: The following obituary of the widow of Henry Clouse is from the March 23, 1904 issue of the "Altoona Mirror" newspaper. It provides a tie-in to Tatesville.

1904: The following obituary of the widow of Henry Clouse is from the March 23, 1904 issue of the "Bedford Gazette" newspaper.

Work product:
Sellers' 2008 book "American Gunsmiths" indicates that Henry Valentine Clouse used the initials "H.V.C" on a full stock percussion firearm. Sellers indicates his source for the information is "Whisker".

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