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

"Fighting" Bob La Follette

Governor and Progressive

Discover how Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and the Progressive Movement reformed state government and the Republican Party.

Brief biography of John Plankinton, a meat packer and businessman.

Review the brief biography of John Plankinton, a meat packer and businessman.

A Brief Biography of Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson

Learn how Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson were inspired as boys to create the world's largest motorcycle company.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer

Read about this ardent abolitionist who rose from company captain to brigadier general.

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, Politician

Read about the Norwegian immigrant who became colonel to the predominately Norwegian 15th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War.

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Governor's Guard

Read about a very influential Civil War Colonel that served as aide-de-camp to the top commanders of the Iron Brigade. Includes inks to learn more.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lumber Mill Owner, Founded the Town of Somerset

Wisconsin Civil War Historian and Author

Read about the man who wrote the most cited book on Wisconsin's involvement in the Civil War. This article includes several links to his work.
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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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