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

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.

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.

Read about the life of this influential Wisconsonite and his contributions to the field of architecture. Article includes links to many primary sources.

Historical Essay

Leopold, Aldo, 1887-1948

Father of Wildlife Ecology

Learn about the man whose focus on the philosophy of conservation would inspire the environmental movement during the mid-20th century.

Historical Essay

Nolen, John, 1869-1937

Urban Planning in Wisconsin

Learn about the man whose vision as an urban planner helped transform the city of Madison, the state park system, and the University of 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.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, Manufacturer

Historical Essay

Old Abe, the War Eagle

Civil War Mascot, 8th Wisconsin Infantry

Read about the war eagle who served as the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry. This article contains links to original documents, images, and accounts.

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.

Civil War Philanthropist, Wisconsin First Lady, Nurse, and Teacher

A brief biography of Wisconsin’s Florence Nightingale, Cordelia Harvey who was a strong voice for innovatring Civil War Military hospitals.
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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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