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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Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites managing editor of the WI State Journal and historian who was "the best known non-political man in Wisconsin."

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Historical Essay

Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975

Learn more about this Madisonian's contribution to the literary community. This article details his Pulitzer prize-winning plays and novels.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Governor's Guard

Read about a very influential Civil War Colonel that served as aide-de-camp to the top commanders of the Iron Brigade. Includes inks to learn more.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Three-Term Wisconsin Governor, U.S. Diplomat

Historical Essay

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

Father of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry, Wisconsin Governor

Find out about the Wisconsin governor who championed for high standards in the dairy industry and founded the State Dairyman's Association.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Mexican-American War Officer

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, Manufacturer

Brief bio of Richard Theodore Ely, professor, economist, social reformer and author who played a votal role in shaping the "Wisconsin Idea."
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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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