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

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

Paul Bunyan

America's Best-Known Folk Hero

Read about America's best-known folk hero. This article details the extensive folklore tradition surrounding the legacy of Paul Bunyan.

Historical Essay

Leopold, Aldo, 1887-1948

Father of Wildlife Ecology

Learn about the man whose focus on the philosophy of conservation would inspire the environmental movement during the mid-20th century.

Last Known Female Ho-Chunk Chief

Read an account of the success and legacy of the last known Ho-Chunk female chief and her children.

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

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.

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, Fond du Lac Manufacturer

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

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