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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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.

Historical Essay

James, Ada Lois (1876-1952)

Suffragist, Social Worker and Reformer

Biography of suffragist, social worker and reformer Ada Lois James.

This Milwaukee born woman successfully advocated for progressive reforms in the educational system and was influential in the Milwaukee socialist movement.

A Wisconsin Educator

Read about the Wisconsinite who was one of the first women to attend the University of Wisconsin and became the president of Milwaukee-Downer College.

Suffragist and Lecturer

Biography of Jessie Annette Jack Hooper, prominent suffragist in Wisconsin civic reform groups and women's organizations.

Historical Essay

Gale, Zona, 1874-1938

Pulitzer Prize for Drama

This novelist based much of her writings on her hometown of Portage, Wisconsin. She became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Historical Essay

Brown, Olympia 1835-1926

Suffragist and Minister

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

This woman was the wife of "Fighting Bob" La Follette. Read about her influence in politics, specifically in the woman's suffrage and pacifist's movements.

Librarian, Lecturer, Reformer and Author

Biography of Lutie Eugenia Stearns, librarian, lecturer, reformer and author who helped establish the Wisconsin Free Library Commission.

Historical Essay

Chapelle, Dickey, 1919-1965

Female War Correspondent

Read about the Wisconsin born photojournalist who was one of the first female war correspondents. This article contains a link containing her photography.
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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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