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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Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

Last Socialist to Run a Major American City

Learn about Milwaukee's third and last Socialist mayor. Read about the many improvements made to the city of Milwaukee under his leadership.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, 15th Wisconsin Governor, U.S. Congressman

Read about Wisconsin's 15th governor. The article details his Civil War service, his role in politics, and includes links to primary and secondary sources.

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.

Historical Essay

Nelson, Gaylord, 1916-2005

Founder of Earth Day

This Wisconsin Senator, best known as the founder of Earth Day, championed the preservation of the environment and natural resources.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer

He traveled the world as a young naval officer before helping to lead the 4th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. He died in battle.

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.

Pioneer in Home Economics

This woman served as the first female professor at Kansas State Agricultural College. Read about her role as state leader of the Home Economics Extension.

Brief biography of newspaperman and eventual Governor (1891-1895)

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.
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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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