William Southard

( - ) Bellmore, Long Island

William Southard was a wheelwright by trade and carved shorebird and duck decoys in the Seaford style between the 1880’s and 1920’s. His work is impressionistic in form and bears similarities to the work of Obediah Verity. He carved in detail and separated the primaries from the tail with a definite v¬-shape. Wing outlines bear Verity’s characteristic S-shape, and the plumage patterns resemble Verity’s style, though less refined. It is possible that Grubie Verity painted some of Southard’s pieces, but there is no valid proof. William Southard’s best work is exemplified by a large rig marked “J.B.,” the initials of a hunter who valued his Southard decoys (Mackey, American 101).