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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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.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Governor

Brief biography of Gov. Louis P. Harvey, helped organize the Republican Party in 1854, state senator from 1854-1857 and in 1862 became governor.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Congressman

Brief biography of Civil War veteran and three term U.S. Congressman best remembered for disobeying orders to return fugitive slaves to their owners.

Historical Essay

Schurz, Carl (1829-1906)

Wisconsin Civil War Soldier, U. S. Senator, German-Language Newpaper Editor

Read about Carl Schurz, the German immigrant and political reformer who helped elect President Lincoln, fought in the Civil War, served as a U.S. Senator.

Historical Essay

Dewey, Nelson 1813-1889

Lawyer, Land Speculator and Wisconsin's First Governor

Discover the history of lawyer, land speculator and Wisconsin's first governor Nelson Dewey.

Lawyer, Politician, Senator, Cabinet Officer and Philanthropist

Biography of William Freeman Vilas, 1840-1908.

Brief biography of newspaperman and eventual Governor (1891-1895)

Historical Essay

Brunson, Alfred (1793-1882)

Wisconsin's first Methodist Missionary

Biography of Methodist clergyman, lawyer, politician and author Alfred Brunson

Historical Essay

Stephenson, Isaac 1829-1918

Lumberman, Financier and Congressman

Biography of Isaac Stephenson who was a lumberman, financier and congressman.

Historical Essay

Potter, John Fox 1817 - 1899

Republican Congressman and American diplomat

Learn more about this Wisconsin Congressman. This article contains links to related articles, newspaper clippings and a catalog description of his papers.
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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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