1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Nye, Edgar Wilson
NYE, EDGAR WILSON (1850–1896), American humorist, was born at Shirley, Maine, on the 25th of August 18 50. His parents removed to a farm on the St Croix river in northern Wisconsin in 1852, and young Nye was educated in Wisconsin at the academy at River Falls, where he studied law. In 1876 he was admitted to the bar at Laramie, Wyoming, where he served as justice of the peace, superintendent of schools, member of the city council and postmaster. Here he began to contribute humorous articles under the pseudonym of “ Bill Nye ” to newspapers, especially the Cheyenne Sun and the Denver Tribune. In 1881 he founded at Laramie the Boomerang, and his reputation as a humorist was soon widespread. Later he became a successful lecturer, and in 1885, with James Whitcomb Riley, the poet, made an extended tour through the country, each reading from his own writings. Nye removed to New York City in 1886, and passed the later years of his life at Arden, a village in Buncombe county, North Carolina (about 10 m. south of Asheville), where he died on the 22nd of February 1896. His principal books are Bill Nye and Boomerang (1881); Forty Liars and Other Lies (1882); Nye and Riley's Railway Guide (1886), with James Whitcomb Riley; and two comic histories, Bill Nye's History of the United States (1894) and Bill Nye's History of England from the Druids to the Reign of Henry VIII. (1896).