Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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A Bizarre Story of Scientific Progress

Learn the bizarre story and scientific contributions of Alexis St. Martin, the man who lived over 50 years after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side.

Historical Essay

Louise Williams

First Woman Notary Public

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first woman notary public Louise Williams who provided legal counsel for southern Wisconsin after the Civil War.

Historical Essay

Death to Capital Punishment

How Wisconsin Eliminated the Death Penalty

Read about the final person to be executed in Wisconsin before the state prohibited the death penalty.

When and where did The Gideons International really begin? There are more answers then you would think. Give this a read and decide for yourself.

A Dishonest Democrat and a Radical Republican

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.

Historical Essay

The Story of Memorial Day

Celebrations of Memorial Day Throughout History

Discover the history of Memorial Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

Spirits Lead a Woman to Fortune

Morris Pratt was a well known psychic medium whose legacy is his eponymous spiritualist institution in Whitewater, known locally as "Pratt's Folly."

Historical Essay

The Crowning of King James

Wisconsin's Brigham Young

Discover the history of early Mormon leader James J. Strang, self-proclaimed successor to Joseph Smith.

An Unreliable Text and Other Evidence

Wisconsin History books teach that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach the state, but he may have been the second.

Historical Essay

Milwaukee's Maverick Aviator

Milwaukee's William Mitchell went from a court-martial for insubordination to being widely understood to be the father of the modern U.S. Air Force.
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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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