Born: February 8, 1844, Bordentown, New Jersey.
Died: November 18, 1909, New York City.
Buried: Bordentown Cemetery, Bordentown, New Jersey.
Richard was the son of Methodist minister William Henry Gilder, and husband of Helena De Kay.
He attended his father’s seminary in Flushing, New York, and later studied Greek and Hebrew under Dr. James Strong. He eventually received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from several universities.
He was a private in the American civil war, and worked on the railroad (1864–65). He later worked for newspapers in Newark, New Jersey, and on the New York monthly magazine Hours at Home. He became associate editor of Scribner’s Monthly in 1870, and editor-in-chief in 1881.
Soul of a soldier in a poet’s frame,
Heart of a hero in a body frail;
Thine was the courage clear that did not quail
Before the giant champions of shame
Who wrought dishonor to the city’s name;
And thine the vision of the Holy Grail
Of Love, revealed through Music’s lucid veil,
Filling thy life with heavenly song and flame.
Pure was the light that lit thy glowing eye,
And strong the faith that held thy simple creed.
Ah, poet, patriot, friend, to serve our need
Thou leavest two great gifts that will not die:
Above the city’s noise, thy lyric cry—
Amid the city’s strife, thy noble deed.
Henry Jackson Van Dyke