The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 137
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graphs of historical documents, invitations, programs, and other
material of importance to the business, cultural, and social
history of the "Jewel on the Brazos." A reprint of Mayor Conger's
small book, Highlights of Waco History, serves as an intoduction
to this photograph album of Waco in the good old days.
The compiler-editor has drawn the greatest number of his
photographs from an extensive collection willed to him by the
late, great photographer, Fred A. Gildersleeve. Gildersleeve, in-
ternationally known and respected, a man ahead of his time in
his profession, practiced his art in Waco from 1905 to 1958. He
took photographs of everything from newspaper boys standing
on street corners to gigantic outdoor banquets. If anything had a
smidgen of historical value about it, "Gildy" was there with his
tripod, black cloth, and shutter box to snap it. He was truly
the "Mathew Brady of Waco."
Roger Conger has done an excellent job of selecting and ar-
ranging his 560 photographs into general subject areas. He starts
along his historical picture path with chronological subject group-
ings of pioneers, buildings, homes, and street scenes that encom-
pass a time span from the Civil War to World War II. Compiler
Conger then picks up historical cadence and viewer interest with
four special subject areas of significant value to Waco history-
the Brann Era, the Texas Cotton Palace, Camp MacArthur and
World War I, and the devastating tornado of 1953. The picture
story of Waco is concluded with what the Mayor terms, "Waco
History in Print"-an educational and interesting array of his-
torical documents, invitations, and programs associated with
Waco and McLennan County events. This last section might well
be termed the piece de resistance of the book.
Undoubtedly A Pictorial History of Waco would have been of
even greater historical value, particularly for the researcher and
the student of history, if the narrative had been footnoted and the
entire book indexed for ready reference. Most of the photographs
have great historical value and reader interest, but a few could
have been omitted without lessening the value of the volume.
These criticisms, however, do not minimize the value of the book
as an historical pictorial review of a Texas city.
Mayor Conger's book is large in size (8 x 11) as well as con-
tent, is attractively laid out, has double leaded lines for ease of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/157/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.