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

Orson Welles, 1915-1985

Cinematic Visionary

Learn about this Wisconsin-born director, his relationship with the film industry, and his lasting legacy as a filmmaker.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Governor's Guard

Read about a very influential Civil War Colonel that served as aide-de-camp to the top commanders of the Iron Brigade. Includes inks to learn more.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Fond du Lac Manufacturer

Historical Essay

John R. Commons, 1862-1945

The Spiritual Father of Social Security

Read about the life of the "spiritual father" of Social Security and his connection with Progressive Wisconsin ideals.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Fruit Famer, Postmaster

Brief biography of Philip Danforth Armour who established one of the world's largest meat packing firms.

Brief biography of Philip Danforth Armour who established one of the world's largest meat packing firms.

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.

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, Congressional Medal of Honor, Spanish-American War Soldier,

Read about the youngest colonel in the Wisconsin volunteers during the Civil War. This article includes several links.
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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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