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

Baraga, Frederic (1797-1868)

Read about the Austrian born missionary who worked with many groups of Native Americans and settlers in the upper Midwest.

Historical Essay

Kilbourn, Byron (1801-1870)

Land Speculator and Politician

Brief biography of surveyor, land speculator, railroad promoter and politician Byron Kilbourn, twice elected mayor of Milwaukee.

Historical Essay

Bartlett, Tommy (1914-1998)

This Milwaukeean's prolific life in the entertainment business helped transform the Wisconsin Dells into the major tourist destination it is today.

Suffragist and Lecturer

Biography of Jessie Annette Jack Hooper, prominent suffragist in Wisconsin civic reform groups and women's organizations.

Adventurer, Explorer and Real Life Indiana Jones

Biography of Roy Chapman Andrews Jones, noted adventurer, explorer and possible model for the character of Indiana Jones.

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.

Historical Essay

Quinney, John W. (1797-1855)

Indian Sachem and Leader

Biography of Stockbridge Indian sachem John Quinney who helped secure full-value payment for their land and organized their removal to Wisconsin.

Brief biography of George H. Walker railroad promoter and politician who was twice mayor of Milwaukee (1851, 1853).

Brief biography of George H. Walker railroad promoter and politician who was twice mayor of Milwaukee (1851, 1853).

Brief biography of Helen Farnsworth Mears, the sculptress whose nine-foot statue, "Genius of Wisconsin," now stands in the WI state capitol.

Historical Essay

Allis, Edward P. (1824-1889)

Learn more about the entrepreneur and manufacturing innovator who established, Allis Company, Milwaukee's largest industrial employer in the late 1880s.
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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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