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

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

Vieau, Jacques (1757-1852)

Fur Trader

Biography of pioneer fur trader Jacques Vieau.

Librarian, Lecturer, Reformer and Author

Biography of Lutie Eugenia Stearns, librarian, lecturer, reformer and author who helped establish the Wisconsin Free Library Commission.

This woman was the wife of "Fighting Bob" La Follette. Read about her influence in politics, specifically in the woman's suffrage and pacifist's movements.

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

Indian Agent

Biography of Indian agent Joseph Montfort Street.

Historical Essay

Woodman, Cyrus 1814-1889

Lawyer, Land Agent, Banker and Lumberman

Biography of lawyer, land agent, banker and lumberman Cyrus Woodman.

Circus Performer

Biography of Circus Performer Frederick W. Shadick.

Brief biography of Helen Farnsworth Mears, the sculptress whose nine-foot statue, "Genius of Wisconsin," now stands in the WI state capitol.

Lawyer, Politician, Senator, Cabinet Officer and Philanthropist

Biography of William Freeman Vilas, 1840-1908.
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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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