Augustus Rapp (1871 – 1961)

Gus Rapp was incredibly active in magic throughout his life and was considered one of the most multi-talented troupers of his time. Born Francis Augustus Rapp in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Gus, as his friends called him, spent approximately 60 years traveling through the Midwest and southern regions of the United States during the1890s and well into the 20th century. On the road, the performer would entertain crowds with magic, comedy, mentalism, juggling, ventriloquism, and puppeteering.

Colon was the place where Gus would hang his hat for a time. As a number of esteemed magicians chose to do, Gus worked for Abbott Magic Company during the founder’s, Percy Abbott’s tenure. Augustus was at home in the Midwest both as a traveling performer and into his retirement. A friend of famous names such as Harry Houdini and Howard Thurston, Gus was prodded to enter bigger circuits, but he always refused. In Houdini’s short-lived “Conjurers’ Monthly Magazine”, Houdini advises Rapp to “come out of the sticks,” but Rapp preferred small towns to large cities.

In his final years, Augustus Rapp returned to his childhood home of Milwaukee where he died at the age of 90.