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, Lawyer, Politician, 6th Wisconsin Governor, Presidential Cabinet Member

Brief biography of lawyer, judge and politician Alexander W. Randall, who served as the sixth Governor of Wisconsin from 1858 until 1861.

Historical Essay

Orson Welles, 1915-1985

Cinematic Visionary

Learn about this Wisconsin-born director, his relationship with the film industry, and his lasting legacy as a filmmaker.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, Sheriff

Read this informative article about the life of the Wisconsin born author, most famous for the children's book series Little House on the Prairie.

Jesuit Missionary

Read about the Jesuit priest who established several missions in Wisconsin during the 17th century.

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites managing editor of the WI State Journal and historian who was "the best known non-political man in Wisconsin."

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Newspaper Editor, Philanthropist

Historical Essay

Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975

Learn more about this Madisonian's contribution to the literary community. This article details his Pulitzer prize-winning plays and novels.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer

He traveled the world as a young naval officer before helping to lead the 4th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. He died in battle.

Father of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry, Wisconsin Governor

Find out about the Wisconsin governor who championed for high standards in the dairy industry and founded the State Dairyman's Association.
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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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