In the Line of Duty: Private Floyd Clouse

Private Floyd Clouse, Alto Reste, Altoona

I finished paying my respects to the Medal of Honor recipient Harry Harr and made my way back to the vehicle. Although I have distant relations buried in Alto Reste Cemetery, this was the first time I had ever stopped to visit the sacred grounds. Note: more about the Medal of Honor recipient can be found here: Harry Harr.

Leaving Harr”s resting place, we continued on the roadway, scanning the stones as we drove along. I had vague directions to the resting place of a Pennsylvania state police officer who is buried within the borders of the cemetery, so we scanned the stones as we passed. We had only driven a short distance when my father called out he could see the Clouse family memorial a short distance from the roadway.

I walked over to the stone and studied the markers that surrounded it. The plaques were flush against the ground and I paused to wipe the recently mowed grass from them to reveal the family members buried there. After cleaning off the third one, I found the one I was searching for – Floyd B. Clouse. Clouse was only twenty-nine years old when he was murdered while trying to serve a warrant.

Floyd Bruce Clouse was born December 20, 1923 in Everett to Eugene and Alta Clouse, but when young, the family moved to Hollidaysburg, where he would grow up. After graduation, Clouse entered the US Navy and served during World War Two. On August 1, 1946 he entered the Pennsylvania State Police force with a class that included twenty-nine other World War Two veterans.

On November 2, 1953, Private Floyd Clouse’s time with the state police came to a violent end. That evening, Private Clouse and Corporal Harold Rice, accompanied by Doctor Edward Douds, arrived at the home of James Stanyard, Sr., north of Beaver Falls, to serve a warrant on EdwIn Stanyard for disorderly conduct.

The warrant was issued at the request of Stanyard’s brother and sister, who requested that Stanyard have a mental evaluation after he had threatened his parents.

What happened next came as a shock to the Stanyard family.

Upon arriving at the house, the officers were allowed in the house to take Edwin for evaluation. Edwin, seeing the police officers, jumped from his chair and ran upstairs, locking himself in the room he shared with his father.

The two officers asked if Edwin had a gun and the family said he did not have one. Believing Standyard was unarmed, Clouse went up the stairs and attempted to talk Edwin into opening the door. When Stanyard refused to open the door, the officers decided to break down the door.

To the surprise of the officers and family, Edwin responded by opening fire on the officers. The first shot hit Private Clouse in the head, killing him instantly and sent him tumbling down the stairs. Corporal Rice and Stanyard grappled at the top of the steps and in the process, shots were fired. Both men were hit in the head by gunfire.

When Doctor Douds heard the shots, he rushed into the house. He found Private Clouse and Stanyard both dead from gunfire. Due to Douds’ actions, Rice survived.

Private Clouse was only twenty-nine years old when he was killed. He was survived by his wife and two children. Clouse was buried in the family plot in Alto Reste Cemetery.

I finished remembering the young officer before leaving him to rest among family within the borders of Alto Reste Cemetery.

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