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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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

Old Abe, the War Eagle

Civil War Mascot, 8th Wisconsin Infantry

Read about the war eagle who served as the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry. This article contains links to original documents, images, and accounts.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Congressional Medal of Honor, Spanish-American War Soldier,

Read about the youngest colonel in the Wisconsin volunteers during the Civil War. This article includes several links.

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

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, 9th Governor of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Politician, 6th Wisconsin Governor, Presidential Cabinet Member

Brief biography of lawyer, judge and politician Alexander W. Randall, who served as the sixth Governor of Wisconsin from 1858 until 1861.

Historical Essay

Schurz, Carl (1829-1906)

Wisconsin Civil War Soldier, U. S. Senator, German-Language Newpaper Editor

Read about Carl Schurz, the German immigrant and political reformer who helped elect President Lincoln, fought in the Civil War, served as a U.S. Senator.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer

Read about the colonel of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry who was also one of the leaders of the Iron Brigade. This article includes several links.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Congressman

Brief biography of Civil War veteran and three term U.S. Congressman best remembered for disobeying orders to return fugitive slaves to their owners.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Governor

Brief biography of Gov. Louis P. Harvey, helped organize the Republican Party in 1854, state senator from 1854-1857 and in 1862 became governor.
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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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