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

Best, Jacob Sr. (1786-1861)

Brewer

Biography of German brewer Jacob Best Sr., founder of the company that became Pabst Brewing.

This Milwaukee born woman successfully advocated for progressive reforms in the educational system and was influential in the Milwaukee socialist movement.

Ojibwe Chief

Biography of Ojibwe chief Joe Gishkitawag "Cut Ear" White, who was murdered by white game wardens.

Historical Essay

Kemper, Jackson 1789-1870

Episcopal Missionary

Discover the history of pioneer Protestant Episcopal churchman and missionary Jackson Kemper, who established Nashotah House and Racine College

Historical Essay

Barbee, Lloyd A. (1925-2003)

Civil Rights Advocate and Legislator

Biography of Lloyd A. Barbee, Milwaukee civil rights advocate and legislator.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lumber Mill Owner, Founded the Town of Somerset

Historical Essay

Crelie, Joseph 1773-1866

Pioneer and Hoaxer

Biography of Prairie du Chien pioneer and Wisconsin's "oldest man," Joseph Crelie.

Historical Essay

Brown, Olympia 1835-1926

Suffragist and Minister

Biography of suffragist and Universalist minister Olympia Brown, the first female minister in America.

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer

Read about Dennis Daily and his remarkable bravery during the Battles of Weldon Road and White Oak Road in Virginia during the Civil War
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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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