Recil Bordner Obituary


Magic King Bordner dies


Newspaper clipping, September 8, 1981: “COLON – Recil J. Bordner, 70, president of Abbott Magic Company and publisher of “The New Tops Magazine” died at noon Tuesday.

A central figure in Colon’s magic heritage, Bordner came to Colon in 1934 to visit Percy Abbott’s Magic Novelty Company, That visit ended  up in a partnership with Abbott that lasted 25 years.

The son of an Ohio farm couple, he tried mind-reading at an early age and then switched to magic.

Bordner, along with Abbott and Harry Blackstone Sr., brought Colon the title of “Magic Capitol of the World.”

In 1932 and 1933, Bordner performed in Ohio and Indiana. Seeking illusions to expand his act, Bordner traveled to Colon to visit Abbott. Abbott and Bordner had met in Montpelier, Ohio in 1931 and Bordner became intrigued with Abbott’s magic catalogues.

Abbott and Bordner became partners, an agreement that lasted until Abbott retired in 1959. During the partnership and under Bordner’s guidance, the company became the world’s largest manufacturer of magic supplies.

In 1936, the first issue of “Tops,” a monthly magazine filled with articles by magicians, was published at the company. The magazine now has a circulation of 4,000 and is mailed to subscribers throughout the world.

Bordner brought his son Greg into the firm. Although semi-retired, the elder Bordner still took an active part in the company.

And a magician at heart, Bordner easily could be talked into performing at Colon’s annual Magic-Get-together, hosted by Abbott Magic Company.”


From the Colon Express newspaper: “COLON – Recil J. Bordner. 70, 5257 Elizabeth, Colon, died September 8, 1981.

A graduate of Edon High School, Mr. Bordner came to Colon in 1934.

He was married to Donna V. Lesnet May 29. 1937 in Montpelier, Ohio. She preceded him in death in December of 1974.

He married Eda Mae Cubbernuss, September 11, 1976.

Mr. Bordner was president of Abbott Magic Co., in Colon. His partnership with Percy Abbott lasted from 1934 until Abbott retired in 1959.

Mr. Bordner attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Colon, and was a member of Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He was a past member of the Colon Board of Education and charter member of Colon Lion’s Club.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, Martina Bordner of East Lansing and Gregory W. Bordner of Colon; three grandchildren, four step-children, Frichard L. Cubbermuss of Mendon, George F. Cubbernuss of Elkhart, Indiana, Mrs. Joseph (Diane) Saputo of Detroit and Doris Cubbernuss of Grandville, Ohio, seven step-grandchildren; and one sister, Mrs. Donell (Letta) Campbell of Adrian.”


From the Colon Express newspaper, September 25, 1941: “Mrs. D. L. Adey has sold her home on North Main Street to Mr. and Mrs. Recil Bordner; and will sell her household goods at auction, Saturday, October 4.”