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

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.

Brief biography of Cyrus Hall McCormick

Read the brief biography of Cyrus Hall McCormick.

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.

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.

Historical Essay

Old Abe, the War Eagle

Civil War Mascot, 8th Wisconsin Infantry

Read about the war eagle who served as the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry. This article contains links to original documents, images, and accounts.

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.

Learn how Frank Zeidler propelled social, economic and structural improvements in Milwaukee as America's last Socialist Mayor in 1948 - 1960.

Historical Essay

Allis, Edward P. (1824-1889)

Learn more about the entrepreneur and manufacturing innovator who established, Allis Company, Milwaukee's largest industrial employer in the late 1880s.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Politican, "War Democrat", U.S. Congressman, U.S. Ambassador

Read about General Edward Stuybesant Bragg from Fond du Lac, who served with the Iron Brigade in the Civil War.

Read about the German born man who made an indelible mark on the history of Milwaukee with his creation of the Pabst Brewing Company.
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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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