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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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.

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

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

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, Lawyer, Helped Draft the Wisconsin Constitution

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Governor

Brief biography of Gov. Louis P. Harvey, helped organize the Republican Party in 1854, state senator from 1854-1857 and in 1862 became governor.

Historical Essay

Orson Welles, 1915-1985

Cinematic Visionary

Learn about this Wisconsin-born director, his relationship with the film industry, and his lasting legacy as a filmmaker.

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Historian and Author

Read about the man who wrote the most cited book on Wisconsin's involvement in the Civil War. This article includes several links to his work.

Author, Diplomat, Editor and Professor

Discover the history of author, diplomat, editor and first professor of Scandinavian languages at the University of Wisconsin Rasmus Anderson.
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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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