Richard's Parents

     Rev. William Henry Gilder      
   in the offical photograph for the  
40th New York Mozart Regiment 
             U.S. Army, 1860              

The Old Homestead


Richard's Brothers & Sister

Robert Gilder
Gilder began studying art in New York with August Will and after arriving in Omaha in 1887 he became a student of J. Laurie Wallace. Gilder's early career was as a journeyman printer for several Omaha newspapers but after his retirement in 1919 he devoted his full attention to his avocations of painting and archaeology. In 1906 he discovered "Loess Man", considered at the time to be the earliest remains of the inhabitants of America. He later served as chief archaeologist of the University of Nebraska Museum for 12 years. He made many trips to the Southwest both for archaeological work and for inspiration for his paintings. However, his beloved Nebraska was always his primary source of subject matter. In 1916, Gilder built a studio-home called "Wake Robin" in a wooded spot in Bellevue. He used this as a primary residence until his death and the house appears in many of Gilder's paintings as well as those of his friend, Augustus Dunbier.

Desert Scene 1920



October Evening Awake Robin

Snow Scene 1911

William Gilder

William Henry Gilder was born on August 16, 1838. His grandfather was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature, and laid the corner stone of Girard College in Philadelphia. Even as a boy he displayed an adventurous and heroic nature, once rescuing a smallpox victim from a burning house.

Gilder was living in Bordentown, NJ at the outbreak of the Civil War. He enlisted on April 19, 1861 at the age of 22 as a Private in Company B, 5th New York Volunteers (Duryee’s Zouaves). On Oct. 12, 1861 Gilder was appointed 1st Sergeant in Company E, 9th New Jersey Volunteers, however he never joined the unit. On Jan. 11, 1862 he was promoted to Corporal and in March became a member of the 5th New York Color Guard. In August Gilder was promoted to Sergeant.

Gilder was reported sick with sunstroke at White House Landing, VA on May 26, 1862. He was detailed on recruiting service from of July 23, 1862 till Sept. 10, 1862. Gilder was placed on detached service on Nov. 14, 1862 in order to receive a commission as 2nd Lieutenant of  Company H, 40th New York Volunteers (the Mozart Regiment), a regiment in which his father served as Chaplain. He was officially discharged from the 5th New York on Jan. 7, 1863. On Jan. 10, 1863 Gilder was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. The following month he was promoted to Regimental Adjutant.

During the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, Gilder was wounded in the arm and leg and escaped capture by running for nearly a mile despite his wounds. Gilder nursed his  sick father who was suffering with small pox until his death in April of 1864 at Brandy Station, VA. On Oct. 6, 1864 Gilder was promoted to Captain and assigned to the staff of Gen. Thomas Egan. That same month he was wounded at Hatcher’s Run, VA. Gilder served until the end of the war, receiving a promotion to Brevet Major for “gallant and meritorious conduct.”

Following the war, Gilder opened an art studio in Newark, NJ before becoming Managing Editor of the Newark Register which was founded by his brother. From 1878 through 1881 Gilder served as second-in-command of the expedition led by Lieut. Frederick Schwatka to search for Sir John Franklin's lost expedition. The expedition made a sledge journey through King William’s Land which lasted twelve months and covered 3,250 miles, a world record. The expedition recovered the remains of Lieut. Irving, a member of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition. On one trip, lasting fifty-four days, Gilder was alone with a driver who had sworn to kill him.

In 1881 Gilder accompanied the DeLong Expedition under Capt. Berry of the United States Navy. When the expedition’s ship, the USS Rodgers, was destroyed by fire near the Bering Strait. Gilder was selected to travel the 2,000 miles across Siberia in midwinter to inform the Secretary of the Navy of the situation. Gilder then joined the search for the Jeannette which had been lost while searching for a Northwest passage. Later that year he was one of the first to visit the scene of the Spanish earthquakes.

Gilder spent the summer and autumn of 1883 in Tonquin, where the French and Anamese war was in progress. During these adventures Gilder served as correspondent for the New York Herald. He published "Schwatka's Search" in 1881, and "Ice-Pack and Tundra" in 1883. In 1887 Gilder attempted to reach the North Pole via a land route. The expedition failed to reach its destination. Nevertheless, the redoubtable Gilder returned to New York after traveling more than six thousand miles and vowed to make the attempt on a whaling schooner.

In later years Gilder wrote of his travels in Borneo and China and served as Editor of the  Newark Sunday Standard and Sunday Times, as well as the New York Journal. William H. Gilder died of Bright's Disease at Memorial Hospital, Morristown, NJ, on Feb. 5, 1900. He is buried in Bordentown Cemetery, Bordentown, NJ.

John Francis Gilder

a composer and pianist.

Joseph Gilder

During the 1880s and 1890s, Joseph contributed to various magazines including Scribner's Monthly and Harper's New Monthly Magazine. With his sister, Jeannette, he co-founded the Critic and served as one of the journal's editors. When the Critic was merged with Putnam's Magazine in 1906, Joseph & Jeannette
became editors there. They knew many of the leading authors of the period. In 1888, they wrote: "Walt Whitman at Home" for the Amierican Authors at Home Series in the Critic. Joseph died in 1936.

Works Include:

Bordentown and the Bonaparts, 1880
Impressions of Spain (compiler) 1899
Authors at Home (editor) 1888

The American Idea as Expounded by American Statesmen (complier) 1902

Jeannette Leonard Gilder

She looks a bit severe in the photo, but she isn't at all. She had the Gilder sense of humor and irreverent attitude that is quite endearing. If you get a chance, read "Autobiography of a Tom-Boy" -its a real life "Little Women" with a lot more guts.

(1849-1916), editor and writer

"Born on October 3, 1849, in Flushing, New York, Jeannette Gilder grew up there and in Bordentown, New Jersey. In 1864 she went to work to help support her large family, left fatherless that year by the Civil War, with a job in the office of the New Jersey adjutant general. In 1865-66 she attended the Bridgeton Female Seminary in southern New Jersey. In 1868 she joined the staff of the Newark Morning Register, which had recently been established by Richard Watson Gilder, destined to be the most famous of her five talented brothers. She later became an editor of the paper, and for a time she was Newark correspondent for the New York Tribune. In 1875 she moved to New York City and secured a job as literary editor of James Gordon Bennett's New York Herald. Before long her reviews and criticism of music, drama, and literature made her a central figure in the cultural life of the city, and she numbered many of the leading writers, artists, and actors of the day among her friends. In January 1881 she and another brother, Joseph B. Gilder, established the Critic, a biweekly (later weekly) journal of criticism and review that enjoyed a long life and earned for itself an important place in American cultural affairs. She contributed a regular column, "The Lounger," and helped edit the Critic, becoming the sole editor in 1901.

For several years up to 1906 Gilder also edited the monthly Reader. During this period she contributed columns to Harper's Bazaar, the New York Commercial Advertiser, and the London Academy, and under the pen name "Brunswick" she was a New York correspondent for the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette and later the Boston Evening Transcript; she also corresponded at various times with newspapers in Philadelphia, Chicago, and London. In 1906 the Critic was absorbed by Putnam's Monthly, of which she was associate editor until it in turn was absorbed by the Atlantic Monthly in 1910. Her gift for editorial work also produced several books, including Essays from "The Critic," with Joseph Gilder (1882), Representative Poems of Living Poets (1886), Pen Portraits of Literary Women, with Helen Gray Cone (1887), Authors at Home, with Joseph Gilder (1888), Masterpieces of the World's Best Literature, in eight volumes (1905), and Heart of Youth, young people's poetry (1911). Her attempts at literary creation met with indifferent success.

Gilder wrote several plays, including Quits, produced in Philadelphia in 1877; Sevenoaks (1878), based on Josiah G. Holland's novel of that name; and A Wonderful Woman (1878). In 1887 she published a novel, Taken by Siege, about literary life in New York. Her Autobiography of a Tomboy (1900) and The Tomboy at Work (1904) were more successful. For many years she served in addition as New York agent for a number of authors and publishers. In later years she supplied book columns to McClure's magazine, Woman's Home Companion, and the Chicago Tribune. She died in New York City on January 17, 1916."

From The Encyclopedia Britannica On Line

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