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, Politician, University of Wisconsin Regent

Read about one of the Democratic Party politicians around the time of the Civil War. This article details his Civil War service and contains several links.

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Fond du Lac Manufacturer

Historical Essay

Brunson, Alfred (1793-1882)

Wisconsin's first Methodist Missionary

Biography of Methodist clergyman, lawyer, politician and author Alfred Brunson

Historical Essay

Paine, Byron, 1827-1871

Civil Rights Law

Learn about the Milwaukee based lawyer who won two of Wisconsin's most important civil rights cases and was on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Historical Essay

Brown, Olympia 1835-1926

Suffragist and Minister

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

Chief of the Sauk Indians

Biography of Indian war chief Black Hawk

Brief bio of Richard Theodore Ely, professor, economist, social reformer and author who played a votal role in shaping the "Wisconsin Idea."

Legendary Midwestern Artist

Discover the history of legendary American artist John Steuart Curry.
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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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