William D. Boyce was born on 6/16/1858 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. At the age of 16, he began teaching. He then worked as a coal miner. He attended Wooster Academy in Ohio from 1880 to 1881. After this, he worked as a teacher, lumber jack, secretary, and salesman in the midwest and Canada
Over the years, he was a very successful businessman accumulating a substantial fortune. He had lived in Chicago. In 1903, he purchased a mansion in Ottawa, Illinois. It was located on 38 acres.
Later in life, he became n explorer and adventurer. It was during his travelling in England that he became familiar with the Boy Scouts. This was an organization for young men. It fostered a clean life style and a love of the outdoors.
Boyce thought that the Boy Scouts would be an excellent organization for the United States. He obtained a charter for the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. He turned over management of the organization to Edgar Robinson, a YMCA executive.
In 1915, Boyce founded the Lone Scouts of America. This was similar to the Boy Scouts but was meant for boys in rural areas.