Burgette had an interesting “Good Luck” card, with his portrait on the front, and on the back he refers to his show as “Weird Wonders”. It also lists three of the effects that he was doing at the time, as well as his contact information.
William L. Burgette was born on May 24, 1911 in Elyria, Ohio. It is said that he gave his first magic show when he was eight years old. From there, he continued to perform for many years. Besides doing magic, Burgette also did escapes. He lived in several cities in Ohio during his lifetime. In 1940, The Billboard stated “Burgette the Magician, assisted by Mrs. Burgette and Rena Azzar, with A. C. Spitler on the advance, brings his season to an end at the Paramount Theater, Fremont, O., May 11. Operating within a radius of 150 miles of Fremont, Burgette played 42 dates on the season.”
Burgette was a long-time member of the I.B.M. and had these three mentions in The Linking Ring early in his magic career. He was “heralded as ‘Ohio’s Favorite Magician’”.
Burgette got his share of press coverage too. The following three clippings are from The Sandusky Register for January 27, 1931, the Kingsport Tennessee Times for December 3, 1940, and the New Castle Pennsylvania News for March 6, of 1942.
William Burgette was a charter member of I.B.M Ring 189 in Galion, Ohio. He was very active in the Ring over the years and was named “Knight of the Year in 1974”. His obituary in the Mansfield News-Journal on January 23, 1976, mentioned his Broken Wand ceremony at his funeral services. The obituary also mentioned that William Burgette had also been a former shoe store manager, besides being a professional magician.
I will end this post with a nice review of Bill Burgette in The Linking Ring back in May of 1968. It was written by the late Terry Harris who was Secretary of Ring 189 at the time.