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

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

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.

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

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 Philip Danforth Armour who established one of the world's largest meat packing firms.

Brief biography of Philip Danforth Armour who established one of the world's largest meat packing firms.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Medal of Honor Recipient

Read about this Wisconsin born Lieutenant's bravery during the Battle of Gettysburg. This article contains links to secondary sources and pictures.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Congressman, Founder of General Mills

A Brief Biography of Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson

Learn how Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson were inspired as boys to create the world's largest motorcycle company.

Historical Essay

Paine, Byron, 1827-1871

Civil Rights Law

Learn about the Milwaukee based lawyer who won two of Wisconsin's most important civil rights cases and was on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician

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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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