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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United States Supreme Court Justice

Biography of William H. Rehnquist, who was born in Milwaukee and went on to serve as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Circus Performer

Biography of Circus Performer Frederick W. Shadick.

Historical Essay

Lapham, Increase, 1811-1875

Wisconsin's First Scientist

Read about Wisconsin's first scientist. Learn about his achievements; including his scientific writings, and his work as an engineer and land surveyor.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Politician, 6th Wisconsin Governor, Presidential Cabinet Member

Brief biography of lawyer, judge and politician Alexander W. Randall, who served as the sixth Governor of Wisconsin from 1858 until 1861.

French Exploration of the North American Interior

Find out about the two French explorers that traversed the Wisconsin countryside in 1673. This artcile details their exploration of the Mississippi.

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.

Historical Essay

Bashford, Coles (1816-1878)

Lawyer, Politician and Governor

Discover the history of Wisconsin governor Bashford Coles.

Historical Essay

Lawe, John (1780-1846)

Fur Trader

Biography of John Lawe, a fur trader for Astor's American Fur Company in Green Bay.

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.

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.
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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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