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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A Brief Biography of Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson

Learn how Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson were inspired as boys to create the world's largest motorcycle company.

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.

Founder of Sauk City

Read about Agoston Haraszthy, the Hungarian immigrant who founded Sauk City and planted the first hops in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Brown, Olympia 1835-1926

Suffragist and Minister

Biography of suffragist and Universalist minister Olympia Brown, the first female minister in America.

Farmer, Defender of Cameron Dam

Discover the story of the farmer who defended Cameron Dam

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Congressman

Brief biography of Civil War veteran and three term U.S. Congressman best remembered for disobeying orders to return fugitive slaves to their owners.

Historical Essay

Edwin Witte, 1887-1960

Father of the Social Security Act

Learn about this Wisconsin-born economist and his active role in the development of the Social Security Act.

Historical Essay

Woodman, Cyrus 1814-1889

Lawyer, Land Agent, Banker and Lumberman

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

Read this informative article about the life of the Wisconsin born author, most famous for the children's book series Little House on the Prairie.

Interpreter

Biography of interpreter Benjamin Green Armstrong who helped reverse the Indian removal order of 1849.
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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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