a descendent of Benjamin Nye who came from England in 1635, was an American humorist born in the town of Shirley. He moved to Wisconsin with his family when he was two.
Nye was a satirist and comic lecturer, who founded the Laramie, Wyoming Boomerang newspaper in 1881. He became famous writing columns for his paper, and later for the World in New York City.
Of his birthplace, which he visited later, he wrote:
There in Shirley, Maine, amid the barren and inhospitable waste of rocks and cold — the last place in the world that a great man would select to be born — began the life of one who in after years rose to the proud height of postmaster at Laramie City, Wyoming Territory. There on the banks of the raging Piscataquis, where winter lingers in the lap of spring till it occasions a good deal of talk, there began a career which has been the wonder and admiration of every vigilance committee east of the turbulent Missouri.
And in his History of the United States:
Maine is noted for being the easternmost state in the Union, and has been utilized by a number of eminent men as a birthplace. . . . Bar Harbor is a cool place to go in the summer to violate the liquor law of the State. (Quoted in Maine: A Guide Downeast)
His works include Nye and Riley’s Railway Guide (1888), Bill Nye’s History of the United States (1894), Bill Nye’s History of England (1896).
Kesterson, David B. Bill Nye. Boston. Twayne. 1981.
Kesterson, David B. Bill Nye: The Western Writings. Boise, Idaho. Boise State University. c1976.
Nye, Bill. Bill Nye, His Own Life Story. New York. The Century Co. c1926.