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

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

Bartlett, Tommy (1914-1998)

This Milwaukeean's prolific life in the entertainment business helped transform the Wisconsin Dells into the major tourist destination it is today.

Historical Essay

Muir, John (1838-1914)

Conservationist, Writer, Explorer

Learn about the conservationist who was instrumental in the creation of Yosemite National Park. This article contains links to several primary sources.

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.

This Milwaukee born woman successfully advocated for progressive reforms in the educational system and was influential in the Milwaukee socialist 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.

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

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.

Historical Essay

Babcock, Stephen, 1843-1931

Read about the agricultural chemist at the University of Wisconsin whose extensive research led to advances in the dairy industry.

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