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.

Historical Essay

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites managing editor of the WI State Journal and historian who was "the best known non-political man in Wisconsin."

Historical Essay

Babcock, Stephen, 1843-1931

Read about the agricultural chemist at the University of Wisconsin whose extensive research led to advances in the dairy industry.

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

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.

Jesuit Missionary

Read about the Jesuit priest who established several missions in Wisconsin during the 17th century.

Historical Essay

Meir, Golda (1898-1978)

Israel's First Female Prime Minister

Learn about the life of Israel's first female prime minster, her role in the Zionist movement, and her early years living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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.

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.
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