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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Lawyer, Politician, Senator, Cabinet Officer and Philanthropist

Biography of William Freeman Vilas, 1840-1908.

Fugitive Slave

Biography of Caroline Quarlls, the first fugitive slave conducted through Wisconsin's underground railroad network to freedom.

Brief biography of University of Wisconsin chemistry and natural history professor, Ezra Slocum Carr.

Brief biography of University of Wisconsin chemistry and natural history professor, Ezra Slocum Carr.

Historical Essay

Vieau, Jacques (1757-1852)

Fur Trader

Biography of pioneer fur trader Jacques Vieau.

Historical Essay

Best, Jacob Sr. (1786-1861)

Brewer

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

Read about the life of this influential Wisconsonite and his contributions to the field of architecture. Article includes links to many primary sources.

Religious Leader, Politician and Self-proclaimed Monarch

Biography of James Jesse Strang, American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch of a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement.

Historical Essay

Paul, Les, 1915-2009

Legendary Guitarist and Electronics Innovator

Learn about Les Paul, pioneer of the solid-body guitar and innovator in recording techniques.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Marshall, Wisconsin Board of Regents Member

Historical Essay

Glover, Joshua

Runaway Slave

Biography of Joshua Glover, a runaway slave from St. Louis, Missouri who sought asylum in Racine, Wisconsin in 1852.
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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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