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

Wisconsin's Indiana Jones?

Was Beloit's Roy Chapman Andrews the real life model for Indiana Jones?

Learn about Mary Ann Menard, Wisconsin's first doctor.

Morris Pratt was a well known psychic medium whose legacy is his eponymous spiritualist institution in Whitewater, known locally as "Pratt's Folly."

Learn about the tragic story of what happened when Ho-Chunk warrior Red Bird and three companions surrender themselves after killing settlers.

Read about John Till and his miraculous "medical" plaster treatment that got him arrested by the WI State Medical Board a number of times.

Two Lawyers Spur Abolitionist Reform and Universal Voting Rights

Byron Paine and Halbert E. Paine use the power of law as a powerful force for radical abolitionist reform in mid-19th century Wisconsin.

Discover the connection between P.T. Barnum and the 1853 statewide referendum on liquor sales and why it failed.

Historical Essay

The Birth of Lake Delton

Learn about the rise of Wisconsin Dells tourism, and read about the creation and collapse of the manmade river it was founded on. Links to pictures.

Historical Essay

Lumberjack Saved Union Fleet

Read this wild story about a Wisconsin Dells lumberjack applying his knowledge of dams to help Union forces escape a Confederate attack!

Read the story of Madison's first and most beloved drunkard, Pinneo.
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