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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A Wisconsin Educator

Read about the Wisconsinite who was one of the first women to attend the University of Wisconsin and became the president of Milwaukee-Downer College.

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

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.

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.

Learn how Frank Zeidler propelled social, economic and structural improvements in Milwaukee as America's last Socialist Mayor in 1948 - 1960.

Historical Essay

Baraga, Frederic (1797-1868)

Read about the Austrian born missionary who worked with many groups of Native Americans and settlers in the upper Midwest.

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).

French Fur Trader

Learn about one of the first French fur traders to visit Wisconsin. Read about his experiences with Indian tribes and his exploration of the countryside.

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Historical Essay

Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975

Learn more about this Madisonian's contribution to the literary community. This article details his Pulitzer prize-winning plays and novels.
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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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