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

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.

Historical Essay

Barbee, Lloyd A. (1925-2003)

Civil Rights Advocate and Legislator

Biography of Lloyd A. Barbee, Milwaukee civil rights advocate and legislator.

Black Voting Rights Activist

Biography of Ezekiel Gillespie who was active in Milwaukee's small Black community, especially on voting rights issues.

Lawyer, Politician, Senator, Cabinet Officer and Philanthropist

Biography of William Freeman Vilas, 1840-1908.

Historical Essay

Woodman, Cyrus 1814-1889

Lawyer, Land Agent, Banker and Lumberman

Biography of lawyer, land agent, banker and lumberman Cyrus Woodman.

Historical Essay

Vieau, Jacques (1757-1852)

Fur Trader

Biography of pioneer fur trader Jacques Vieau.

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

Chapelle, Dickey, 1919-1965

Female War Correspondent

Read about the Wisconsin born photojournalist who was one of the first female war correspondents. This article contains a link containing her photography.

Brief biography of newspaperman and eventual Governor (1891-1895)

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites managing editor of the WI State Journal and historian who was "the best known non-political man in Wisconsin."
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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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