Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Historical Essay

Milwaukee Sewer Socialism

Read about the era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Milwaukee became the first Socialist city in the United States.

Historical Essay

Fugitive Slave Collar

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862. (Museum object #1961.73)

Learn how Robert La Follette and the Progressive Movement reformed state government and the Republican Party in Wisconsin.

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Historical Essay

La Follette Casket Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Flag used to drape the caskets of both Robert M. La Follette, Sr. and Jr. (Museum object #1951.187)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Concrete walleye decoy purchased at PARR Rally in Minocqua, Wisconsin, April 15, 1989. (Museum object #1990.178.1)

Historical Essay

Lottery Ball Drawing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ball drawing machine used by the Wisconsin Lottery for Daily Pick 3 and Daily Pick 4 games, 1992-2000. (Museum object #2001.83.16.1A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Historical Essay

Granger Gourd

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ceremonial container made from a gourd, presented to Wisconsin Governor William R. Taylor, 1874. (Museum object #1993.53)

A Dishonest Democrat and a Radical Republican

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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