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 Cyrus Hall McCormick

Read the brief biography of Cyrus Hall McCormick.

Historical Essay

Lapham, Increase, 1811-1875

Wisconsin's First Scientist

Read about Wisconsin's first scientist. Learn about his achievements; including his scientific writings, and his work as an engineer and land surveyor.

Menominee War Chief

Learn about the leadership of this Menominee War Chief and his negotiations with the U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

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

Nolen, John, 1869-1937

Urban Planning in Wisconsin

Learn about the man whose vision as an urban planner helped transform the city of Madison, the state park system, and the University of Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Stevens, Brooks, 1911-1995

Industrial Designer

Learn more about this Milwaukeean whose life's work greatly influenced the field of industrial design and the art of salesmanship.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Mexican-American War Officer

Historical Essay

John R. Commons, 1862-1945

The Spiritual Father of Social Security

Read about the life of the "spiritual father" of Social Security and his connection with Progressive Wisconsin ideals.

Read about the German born man who made an indelible mark on the history of Milwaukee with his creation of the Pabst Brewing Company.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Attorney General and State Senator

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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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