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

Nicolet, Jean 1598-1642

French Explorer

Biography of French explorer Jean Nicolet, believed to be the first European to see Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, 9th Wisconsin Secretary of State, Newspaper Publisher

Thomas S. Allen is best remembered for his leadership of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War.

Historical Essay

Potter, John Fox 1817 - 1899

Republican Congressman and American diplomat

Learn more about this Wisconsin Congressman. This article contains links to related articles, newspaper clippings and a catalog description of his papers.

Soldier, Fur Trader and "Father of Wisconsin"

Brief biography of soldier, fur trader and the "Father of Wisconsin," Charles Michel Langlade.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, Sheriff

Historical Essay

Bascom, John (1827-1911)

Educator, University President and Author

Brief biography of John Bascom, president of the University of Wisconsin from 1874 to 1887.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Newspaper Editor, Philanthropist

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.

Lawyer, Politician and Judge

Biography of lawyer, politician and judge Edward George Ryan.

Author, Diplomat, Editor and Professor

Discover the history of author, diplomat, editor and first professor of Scandinavian languages at the University of Wisconsin Rasmus Anderson.
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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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