Collage of historic photos.

Historical Figures in Wisconsin

Learn about the lives of your favorite Wisconsin historical figures, from the famous to infamous, and their contributions to our state's history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on historical figures in Wisconsin.

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Historical Essay

Kemper, Jackson 1789-1870

Episcopal Missionary

Discover the history of pioneer Protestant Episcopal churchman and missionary Jackson Kemper, who established Nashotah House and Racine College

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician

Read about the Norwegian immigrant who became colonel to the predominately Norwegian 15th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Politician, 6th Wisconsin Governor, Presidential Cabinet Member

Brief biography of lawyer, judge and politician Alexander W. Randall, who served as the sixth Governor of Wisconsin from 1858 until 1861.

Historical Essay

Paul, Les, 1915-2009

Legendary Guitarist and Electronics Innovator

Learn about Les Paul, pioneer of the solid-body guitar and innovator in recording techniques.

Read about this Wisconsonite, whose leadership in the Women's Suffrage Movement helped Wisconsin become the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment.

Temperance Lecturer, Abolitionist and Newspaper Editor

Biography of temperance lecturer, abolitionist and newspaper editor Sherman Miller Booth.

Fugitive Slave

Biography of Caroline Quarlls, the first fugitive slave conducted through Wisconsin's underground railroad network to freedom.

Historical Essay

Brown, Olympia 1835-1926

Suffragist and Minister

Biography of suffragist and Universalist minister Olympia Brown, the first female minister in America.

Historical Essay

Glover, Joshua

Runaway Slave

Biography of Joshua Glover, a runaway slave from St. Louis, Missouri who sought asylum in Racine, Wisconsin in 1852.

Missionary and Clergyman

Biography of Richard Fish Cadle, Episcopal clergyman and missionary who established many Wisconsin parishes.
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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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