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William Radcliff
(Abt 1813-1878)
Elizabeth Williard
(Abt 1814-1895)
Dr. William Augustus Hickman
Burnette Barbour
James Perry Radcliffe
Burnette Barbour Hickman

Burnette May Radcliffe


Family Links

Burnette May Radcliffe 38

  • Born: 8 Jan 1883, Springfield, , IL, USA 16,38
  • Died: 5 Apr 1960, Los Angeles, , CA, USA at age 77 38
  • Buried: 11 Apr 1960, Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 38

bullet  General Notes:

Known to Richard Perry Radcliffe as Auntie B. Her brothers always called her Bunnie. Spinster -- no children.

Why Dad never told us about Burnette! She must have been, at least in her younger days, a very interesting character. She was an actress by the age of 19 and performed for the governor of the state of Illinois during the Christmas season of 1903 or early January of 1904. She recited "A Waltz Quadrille" by Edna Wheeler Wilcox, "The Girl Who Telephones," and "The Bear Story," by James Whitcomb Reilly. Mrs. Yates, the Governor's wife, sent her a personal thank you. Later she went on to play in bit parts across the country and in Europe. She performed with Ethel Barrymore on Broadway in "Alice Sit-by-the-Fire," and "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines." She was also Poppaea in "Sign of the Cross," and one of the bingo girls in "Just Out of College." Also "Master of the House" in Chicago's Crown Theater. Her photo was in Redbook Magazine, and numerous articles in local and Chicago papers.

She later worked for Murphy Miles Oil Company in Chicago in the 1930's, after retiring from the stage. Her brother, Perry, had a collection of her newspaper clippings and a personally written thank you from the Governor's wife. He must have been rather proud of her accomplishments.

Belle Radcliffe thought she at one time lived in the Granada Hotel, Chicago. Unconfirmed.

Southtown Economist 2-21-1913: headline, National Theater article tells of a play entitled, "'The Divorce Question" coming to the National Theater next week with positively the same cast, and with positively the same production as were seen at McVicker's theater for the long spring engagement. The lesson of this remarkable play, which received thorough endorsement from men high in city life, foremost being Governor Dunne, is a story of frequent occurrence in life and to persons who love to have their emotions worked up well, this play will most strongly appeal. It is written for the purpose of showing the evils of divorce and it shows them by presenting to us a man and woman who have contracted a second marriage, and have cast off the children of their first marriage; it shows one of these children so bad that she welcomes death when it comes as the result of a broken heart... The cast will show...Burnette Radcliffe... and others." Note: McVicker's Theater was at State and Madison Streets.

Mentioned in the Salt Lake Telegram in an article titled "Stage Gossip" dated 9-3-1910. Must have been in a play out there.

Also mentioned in the Philadelphia Inquirer 11-13-1910 in an articled titled, "Three New Plays Will be Unfolded in the Theatres Madame X, Arsene Lupin and The..."

Performed in Madam X in NY at the Lyric Theatre, (New York Times, 9-10-1904) "Madam X," with Dorothy Donnelly in the role she originated last season, will come to the Lyric Theatre for an indefinite run to-morrow. There has been no essential change in the cast since last season, the company this year including William Elliott, Malcolm Williams, W.H. Denny, Robert Payton Gibbs, Cecil Kern, H.C. Bradley, Boyd Nolan, Maurice Drew, Burnette Radcliffe, Marta Oatman, and John McKee."

Note to self: McVicker's Theatre was at Madison, between State and Dearborn.


bullet  Noted events in her life were:

Alt. Birth, 1 Aug 1893, Springfield, Sangamon County, IL. 349

Alt. Birth, 21 Aug 1883. The 1920 census has her listed as having been born in 1891, but being an actress, shaving a few years off was probably common.

Residence, 1 Jun 1900-1902, 727 N. Seventh St., Springfield. 34 She was "at school" in 1900, unemployed. She was also a student in 1902, boarding at this address.

Occupation: actress, Sign of the Cross, 21 Nov 1904, Iowa City, Iowa. 350 "A superb presentation of "The Sign of the Cross" entranced and enthralled an altogether too small audience Saturday night, in the Coldren. The play was finely staged, hansomely (sic)-costumed, and brilliantly acted. The work of Walter Lav (?) as "Marcus" was exceptionally good while Miss Dorothy Lambert's "Mercia" was sweetly winsome, and the emotional outbursts of Miss Claire iVncent (sic) as "Berenice" were overwhelmingly powerful, as a foil, Burnette Radcliffe, as "Dacial," was likewise admirable. Miss Nellie Caire was an unusually good "Stephanus"; Orson Dunn's "Nero" was -- to be paradoxical -- disgustingly good. The entire company was worthy of praice (sic), and the performance was entitled to a packed house."

Occupation: Actress, "Just Out of College," 28 Jan 1906, Fort Wayne, , Indiana. 351

Occupation: actress, "The Land of Dollars," 14 May 1908, Kennebec, , ME. 352

Occupation: Actress, 3 one act plays at the Bush Temple, Chicago, 2 May 1909, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 89 Her photo appears in the paper on the above date.

Residence, 20 Jan 1910, 5607 Washington Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 13 They were renting. Living at this house was J.P., Burnette (wife), Burnette (daughter), and Perry Radcliffe. Also a roomer, Mabel Richards.

Occupation: Actress, 1910-at least 1914. 124 See article entitled, "Three New Plays Will Be Unfolded in the Theaters" in the Philadelphia Inquirer 11-13-1910 and "Amusements" in the Dallas Morning News 10-16-1904 and in an article entitled, "Stage Gossip" in the Salt Lake Telegram dated 9-3-1910.

However, in the 1910 census, she's listed as having no employment.

Volunteer Work: Raised funds for Titanic survivors, 20 Apr 1912, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 89 The Chicago Examiner newspaper established the "Examiner's Titanic Sufferers' Fund" in which they said the following: "Many who undoubtedly would give generously have hesitated because it was thought that all or most of the passengers were in comfortable circumstances, but the real facts are quite the contrary... many survivors having lost all with the sinking of the Titanic, they face poverty when cast adrift after their convalescence."
Burnette, "formerly of the 'Madam X' company" was part of the cast of a play entitled, "The Divorce?" A special matinee was "performed at the Whitney Opera House with the entire gross receipts being turned over to the Examiner's Titanic Relief Fund."
The benefit, it reported later, net $351. Photo of her in this play in the Chicago Sunday Examiner, 4-21-1912.

Occupation: actress, The Master of the House, 8 Jun 1913, Crown Theater, Chicago, Cook, IL. 353 Performed in "The Master of the House" -- the tale of an old man's darling, a romantic masterpiece, direct from Broadway at the Crown Theater. Gleason's All-Star Co.

Volunteer Work: Page 659 of book Illinois Activies in the War: Covering the period from 1914-1920, WWI, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 354 Page 659 of the book Illinois Activities in the War: covering the period from 1914-1920 mentions Burnette in this way in connection with the women's committee work in Chicago:
"A word must be said in chronicling the story of those exciting days of big drives and unaccustomed ventures -- often anxious, tense days when the news from the western front was dark and gloomy -- of the cheerful and unfailing devotion and loyalty of the office staff. Mrs. Maud R. Turlay, who handled the larger part of the state correspondence that had to do with organization matters, did a fine and difficult piece of work. Miss Burnette Radcliffe and Miss Helen Larson, who assisted with the work of the general office, won the admiration of their co-workers for their steady and faithful service."

Residence, 14 Jan 1920, 5629 Blackstone Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 14 They were renting. Living at this house was J.P., Burnette (wife), Burnette (daughter), and Perry Radcliffe.

Occupation: Secretary at a Club, 14 Jan 1920, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 14

Occupation: Bookeeper for an oil company, 2 Apr 1930, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 3

Residence, 4-2-1930-15 Jul 1931at least, 525 Arlington Place, Chicago, Cook, IL. 3,355 In the 1930 census, was living with Isabel Conrey, her aunt. They were renting.

Travel, 13 Jul 1931, Trip to England. 356,357 Returned from England (leaving from Southhampton) on 7-13-1931, arriving in Quebec, Canada on the S.S. Empress of Britain. On the same day, she then boarded a ship for Detroit, MI. Age 38 years, 6 months.

Occupation: Bookkeeper, Clavell Corp, 40 yrs. 38 Manufacturing company of hydrallic valves.

Residence: 510 S. Kenmore Ave., Apt. 6, Los Angeles, CA. 38 Lived there 10 years.

Cemetery: Forest Lawn, California. 12

Death, 5 Apr 1960. 38 Was cremated.

Will. 7 See a copy of the will in the above photo box. This is the will that, in effect, changed the course of the family's history through its largess.

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