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

Bull, Ole Borneman 1810-1880

Musician and Concert Violinist

Read about Ole Bull, the Norwegian musician and concert violinist who resided in Madison for several years in the 1870s.

Historical Essay

Nolen, John, 1869-1937

Urban Planning in Wisconsin

Learn about the man whose vision as an urban planner helped transform the city of Madison, the state park system, and the University of Wisconsin.

Lumberman and Timber Mogul

Biography of Frederick Weyerhaeuser, the lumberman and timber mogul who founded the Weyerhaeuser Company and became the 8th richest American ever.

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.

Historical Essay

Dewey, Nelson 1813-1889

Lawyer, Land Speculator and Wisconsin's First Governor

Discover the history of lawyer, land speculator and Wisconsin's first governor Nelson Dewey.

Lawyer, Politician, Senator, Cabinet Officer and Philanthropist

Biography of William Freeman Vilas, 1840-1908.

Librarian, Lecturer, Reformer and Author

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

Historical Essay

Schorer, Mark 1908-1977

Novelist, Biographer, Scholar and Teacher

Biography of novelist, biographer, scholar and teacher Mark Schorer.

Black Voting Rights Activist

Biography of Ezekiel Gillespie who was active in Milwaukee's small Black community, especially on voting rights issues.

Historical Essay

Lawe, John (1780-1846)

Fur Trader

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