Clara P. Burroughs, 87, a longtime resident of Alexandria and Indian Head who was a student of the history of the Indian Head area, died Friday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Towson, Md. She was visiting a daughter when she was striken.

Mrs. Burroughs was born in Baltimore and grew up there and in Indian Head. She later returned to Baltimore. In the mid-1930s, she and her husband, Henry D. Burroughs, moved to Indian Head. In 1938 they settled in Alexandria and Mr. Burroughs worked at the Naval Torpedo Factory there.

The family remained in Alexandria, where Mrs. Burroughs was active in St. Mary's Catholic Church until 1960, when her husband retired. They then moved to Indian Head. he died in 1968 and Mrs. Burroughs mainained a home there until her death. In Indian Head, she was a member of St. Mary's Star-of-the-Sea Catholic Church.

Survivors include two daughters, Rosemarie Schulte of Towson, and Jane Dollins of Alexandria; two sons, Henry D. Jr., of West River, Md., and retired Ari Force Col. William David of Mesa, Ariz.; 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to St. Mary's Star-of-the-Sea Catholic Church, Indian Head, Md.