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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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.

Read a short biography about this U.S. Senator famous for his penny-pinching attitude toward government spending and his courage in taking unpopular stands

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, Manufacturer

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, 15th Wisconsin Governor, U.S. Congressman

Read about Wisconsin's 15th governor. The article details his Civil War service, his role in politics, and includes links to primary and secondary sources.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Mexican-American War Officer

Wisconsin Civil War Officer

Read about the colonel of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry who was also one of the leaders of the Iron Brigade. This article includes several links.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Congressional Medal of Honor, Spanish-American War Soldier,

Read about the youngest colonel in the Wisconsin volunteers during the Civil War. This article includes several links.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lumberman

Brief biography of Col. Joseph Bailey, the lumberman famous for his creative application of dams during the failed Civil War Red River Campaign of 1864.
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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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