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

Barbee, Lloyd A. (1925-2003)

Civil Rights Advocate and Legislator

Biography of Lloyd A. Barbee, Milwaukee civil rights advocate and legislator.

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.

Fur Trader, Merchant, Judge and Territorial Legislator

Biography of fur trader, merchant, judge and territorial legislator James Henry Lockwood.

Historical Essay

Dewey, Nelson 1813-1889

Lawyer, Land Speculator and Wisconsin's First Governor

Discover the history of lawyer, land speculator and Wisconsin's first governor Nelson Dewey.

Historical Essay

Brisbois, Michael 1760-1837

Fur Trader and Settler

Biography of French-Canadian fur trader Michel Brisbois, who founded the first permanent white settlement in Prairie du Chien.

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.

This Milwaukee born woman successfully advocated for progressive reforms in the educational system and was influential in the Milwaukee socialist movement.

Lumberman, Resort Operator and Humorist

Biography of Eugene Shepard, whose "Hodag" monster hoax made Oneida County a tourist attraction.

Newspaperman, Politician and Inventor

Biography of newspaperman, a politician and typewriter inventor Christopher Latham Sholes.

Historical Essay

Spooner, John Coit 1843-1919

Lawyer and Politician

Biography of John Coit Spooner who was a lawyer and politician, known as a leading Stalwart Republican.
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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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