Edgar Wilson Nye
Edgar Wilson "Bill" Nye (August 25, 1850 – February 22, 1896) was a distinguished American journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, who later became widely known as a humorist. He was also the founder and editor of the Laramie Boomerang
Laramie Boomerang
The Laramie Boomerang is the only daily newspaper in Laramie, Wyoming. It was established in 1881 by Edgar Wilson Nye, who named the paper after his mule, Boomerang...



Nye was born in Shirley, Maine
Shirley, Maine
Shirley is a town in Piscataquis County, Maine, United States. The town was named after Shirley, Massachusetts. The population was 183 at the 2000 census...

, and adopted the name "Bill Nye" after a character in a famous poem by Bret Harte
Bret Harte
Francis Bret Harte was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.- Life and career :...


The Boomerang was founded while Nye was the postmaster of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory
Laramie, Wyoming
Laramie is a city in and the county seat of Albany County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 30,816 at the . Located on the Laramie River in southeastern Wyoming, the city is west of Cheyenne, at the junction of Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 287....

. It launched him to national fame, gaining subscribers in every state and some foreign countries. His humor was uniquely American. In 1892, he wrote in The Century Magazine
The Century Magazine
The Century Magazine was first published in the United States in 1881 by The Century Company of New York City as a successor to Scribner's Monthly Magazine...

Some of his works include Bill Nye's Comic History of the United States, Baled Hay, Remarks, Bill Nye and Boomerang, Bill Nye's History of England, and Bill Nye's Red Book.

Late in his career, he was briefly associated with James Whitcomb Riley
James Whitcomb Riley
James Whitcomb Riley was an American writer, poet, and best selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the Hoosier Poet and Children's Poet for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively...

 with whom he wrote two books. They also appeared together on the lecture circuit. He also travelled and lectured with Luther Burbank
Luther Burbank
Luther Burbank was an American botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agricultural science.He developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants over his 54-year career. Burbank's varied creations included fruits, flowers, grains, grasses, and vegetables...


He died of meningitis
Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs...

 in Arden, North Carolina
Arden, North Carolina
Arden is an unincorporated area located in southern Buncombe County, North Carolina, in the United States. Arden is approximately considered the area between Skyland and Fletcher near the Henderson County line. Arden's ZIP Code is 28704...

. He is buried in Calvary Episcopal Churchyard in Fletcher, Henderson County, North Carolina. A historical marker honoring him is located in St. Croix County, Wisconsin
St. Croix County, Wisconsin
St. Croix County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2010, the population was 84,345. Its county seat is Hudson. St. Croix County is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area . It is the fastest growing county in Wisconsin.-Geography:According to the U.S...

, between the towns of Roberts and River Falls. A small monument marks his birthplace in Shirley, Maine.

External links

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