Born in 1880 in Boulder, Colorado, Gildersleeve spent most of his childhood in Kirksville, Missouri. Throughout his early years, Gildersleeve sold his pictures for 25 cents apiece to pay for his education, working his way through photography school in Effingham, Illinois before launching his career in Waco.
An adventurer, Gildersleeve was known for speeding through town on an Excelsior motorbikeand later in a Model T Fordwith his assistant in the sidecar. He avidly took pictures of everyday life in Waco, becoming the official photographer for Baylor and the State Fair of Texas. From special occasions to sporting events, from construction projects to key figures, Gildersleeve documented Waco’s growth as a thriving industrial city during the early days of the twentieth century.
Gildersleeve’s photos are not just history; they are art. He pioneered panoramas and aerial shots using Waco as his subject. Gildersleeve’s photos are now known for their clarity and detail that resemble and surpass modern-day digital photography. The photos in this book take viewers back in time to their favorite Waco landmarks and do so with timeless creativity.