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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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.

Historical Essay

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

A Wisconsin Educator

Read about the Wisconsinite who was one of the first women to attend the University of Wisconsin and became the president of Milwaukee-Downer College.

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.

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

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.

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."

Historical Essay

Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975

Learn more about this Madisonian's contribution to the literary community. This article details his Pulitzer prize-winning plays and novels.

Jesuit Missionary

Read about the Jesuit priest who established several missions in Wisconsin during the 17th century.
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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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