Duck Decoys

William Hoberg


Green Bay

William Hoberg, born in 1982, was one of John Hoberg’s 8 children. John was the founder of the Hoberg Paper Mills, Green Bay’s first. John, while inspecting some equipment, was pulled into the drive belt and thrown 20 feet through the air. While seemingly not badly injured at the time, he died the following week from internal injuries. William took over operation of the mill in 1908, later selling it to Proctor & Gamble who used it to make Charmin toilet paper. William was a well known sportsman and started making decoys in the 1920’s. In 1932 he applied and received a patent on a decoy weight he designed. He made decoys for his own use and a few for friends. His own rig was stamped “WM HOBERG”. He made some decoys for Louis Barkhausen, a fellow Green Bay industrialist and sportsman. Barkhausen owned a 400 acre duck club near Suamico and also a 2000 acre duck club on the Illinois River. The Illinois club was stocked with Charles Perdew decoys while the Green Bay club had several types of decoys, including Hobergs. Barkhausen later donated the Green Bay club to Brown County and the Illinois Club to the state of Illinois.Both still remain as wildlife refuges. Barkhausen was also involved in starting Ducks Unlimited and became its third president. He also helped initiate the resident Giant Canada Goose flock in Green Bay. Meanwhile, William Hoberg continued as a prominent sportsman in the Green Bay Area. His son Harold followed in his fathers footsteps, making fine decoys himself. William had a full life, passing away in 1985. He was 103.

**Many thanks to John Fandrey for contributing this information