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

John R. Commons, 1862-1945

The Spiritual Father of Social Security

Read about the life of the "spiritual father" of Social Security and his connection with Progressive Wisconsin ideals.

Historical Essay

Stevens, Brooks, 1911-1995

Industrial Designer

Learn more about this Milwaukeean whose life's work greatly influenced the field of industrial design and the art of salesmanship.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician

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

Historical Essay

Anneke, Mathilde, 1817-1884

This woman founded the first feminist newspaper in the United States. Read about her dedication to women's rights and her opposition to slavery.

Historical Essay

Lombardi, Vince, 1913-1970

Legendary Green Bay Packers Coach

Read about the "Coach of the Century" and his preeminent role in leading the Green Bay Packers to many substantial victories.

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.

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

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

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 newspaperman and eventual Governor (1891-1895)
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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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