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 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).

Read an account of the French explorer who claimed much of Wisconsin for France and who traded with several Indian tribes near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Berger, Victor, 1860-1929

Symbol of Milwaukee Socialism

Learn about the man who was the symbol of Milwaukee Socialism. Read about his involvement in the newspaper business, politics, and his anti-war stance.

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.

Last Socialist to Run a Major American City

Learn about Milwaukee's third and last Socialist mayor. Read about the many improvements made to the city of Milwaukee under his leadership.

Brief biography of John Plankinton, a meat packer and businessman.

Review the brief biography of John Plankinton, a meat packer and businessman.

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.

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

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, Politician, Sheriff

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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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