John Horn (dates unknown) New Gretna, New Jersey
It is understood that John Horn was a local bayman who was a market hunter for hotels in nearby Atlantic City. He supplemented his income as a guide for hunters who came to the marshes around New Gretna.
Yellowleg, robin and snipe decoys have been attributed to Horn. Searches of the 1880 and 1910 census records for New Jersey do not show a John Horn as being a resident of New Gretna, Atlantic County. Listings for all of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania for the same time period reveal only one man who worked in a field that was connected with the water. The census for 1880 lists a John Horn of Phillipsburg, Warren County who listed his occupation as boat builder. Given that Phillipsburg is more than a hundred miles to the North along the Delaware River, it is unlikely that this is the John Horn carver of coastal shorebirds.
If Horn was a contemporary of John McAnney (1870 - 1930), a carver known to have been a resident of New Gretna, there is no record of their having met each other. Information recorded by the New Jersey Decoy Collectors Association tells of a hunter by the name of Leon Headley who obtained "at least a dozen shorebird (decoys) attributed to Horn all with the same pronounced brow and cheek style and flared, somewhat pointed tails".
For additional information
Decoys of the Mid-Atlantic Region, 1979 by Henry A. Fleckenstein.
New Jersey Decoys, 1983 by Henry A. Reckenstein.
Shore Bird Decoys, 1980 by Henry A. Fleckenstein.
John Horn! information sheet,(date unknown) New Jersey Decoy Collectors Association, Grove Conrad.