Duck Decoys

Ora Clough



Ora Clough was born in 1895 in Perkinstown, which is in the town of Grover in Taylor County, Wisconsin. At an early age his family moved to Ladysmith and set up their home directly across the street from the Evans decoy factory. Clough was most often seen in his Oshkosh-B-Gosh bib overalls and sport coat and an old railroad hat. It is no surprise that Clough began working at the Evans factory considering his close proximity to that enterprise in about 1930. It wasn't long before Ora was making his own decoys by hand. Eventually he added a small lathe to his operation. His decoys are easily identified by the 1" hole in the breast, through the body, that helped lighten the decoy....a cork plug filled the hole. It is estimated that Clough made 200-300 decoys from about 1935 to 1944...collectors have found mallards, blackducks, bluebills, bluewing teal, canvasbacks and a limited number of Canada geese.The price of his decoys started at 50 cents each in 1935 and were up to $3.50 each by 1944. He made six pairs of canvasbacks, one pair was once part of Jupe Houman's collection. That pair is now on my shelf. Clough continued to make a few decorative decoys until 1975. Looking at Clough's decoys you can see the Evans influence, although he modified the style to his own liking.

Many thanks to the research of Shirley Dashner to document this information. More detailed information and photos are well presented in the July/August issue of Decoy Magazine.