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

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.

Brief biography of George H. Walker railroad promoter and politician who was twice mayor of Milwaukee (1851, 1853).

Brief biography of George H. Walker railroad promoter and politician who was twice mayor of Milwaukee (1851, 1853).

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.

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

Historical Essay

Anneke, Mathilde, 1817-1884

This woman founded the first feminist newspaper in the United States. Read about her dedication to women's rights and her opposition to slavery.

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

Stevens, Brooks, 1911-1995

Industrial Designer

Learn more about this Milwaukeean whose life's work greatly influenced the field of industrial design and the art of salesmanship.

Historical Essay

Leopold, Aldo, 1887-1948

Father of Wildlife Ecology

Learn about the man whose focus on the philosophy of conservation would inspire the environmental movement during the mid-20th century.

Brief biography of University of Wisconsin chemistry and natural history professor, Ezra Slocum Carr.

Brief biography of University of Wisconsin chemistry and natural history professor, Ezra Slocum Carr.

Read about the life of this influential Wisconsonite and his contributions to the field of architecture. Article includes links to many primary sources.
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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.

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