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

Allis, Edward P. (1824-1889)

Learn more about the entrepreneur and manufacturing innovator who established, Allis Company, Milwaukee's largest industrial employer in the late 1880s.

Historical Essay

Anneke, Mathilde, 1817-1884

This woman founded the first feminist newspaper in the United States. Read about her dedication to women's rights and her opposition to slavery.

Explorer and Trader

Biography of Daniel Greysolon Sieur Duluth who helped protect the Wisconsin area against raids of the Iroquois.

Historical Essay

Nicolet, Jean 1598-1642

French Explorer

Biography of French explorer Jean Nicolet, believed to be the first European to see Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, University of Wisconsin Regent

Read about one of the Democratic Party politicians around the time of the Civil War. This article details his Civil War service and contains several links.

Historical Essay

Williams, Eleazer 1788-1858

Canadian Clergyman, Missionary and Con Artist

Biography of Eleazer Williams, a Canadian clergyman and missionary who claimed to be the French Lost Dauphin.

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

Soldier, Fur Trader and "Father of Wisconsin"

Brief biography of soldier, fur trader and the "Father of Wisconsin," Charles Michel Langlade.

Historical Essay

Chase, Warren 1813-1891

Spiritualist, Social Reformer and Politician

Biography of spiritualist, social reformer and politician Warren Chase.

Historical Essay

Evinrude, Ole 1877-1934


Biography of Ole Evinrude, a Norwegian-American inventor who created the first outboard motor.
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If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.