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, Les, 1915-2009

Legendary Guitarist and Electronics Innovator

Learn about Les Paul, pioneer of the solid-body guitar and innovator in recording techniques.

Lawyer, Politician, Land Speculator, Promoter and Author

Biography of lawyer, politician, land speculator and promoter and author of a History of the Territory of Wisconsin, Moses Mccure Strong.

Historical Essay

Brown, Olympia 1835-1926

Suffragist and Minister

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

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.

Religious Leader, Politician and Self-proclaimed Monarch

Biography of James Jesse Strang, American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch of a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement.

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.

French Fur Trader

Learn about one of the first French fur traders to visit Wisconsin. Read about his experiences with Indian tribes and his exploration of the countryside.

Indian Agent

Biography of Indian agent Joseph Montfort Street.

Historical Essay

Paquette, Pierre (1796-1836)

Trader, Scout and Interpreter

Biography of biracial Indian and European trader, scout and interpreter Pierre Paquette.

Historical Essay

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.
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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.