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

Niedecker, Lorine, 1903-1970

Fort Atkinson Poet

Biography of Lorine Niedecker, a poet raised in Fort Atkinson.

Historical Essay

Evinrude, Ole 1877-1934


Biography of Ole Evinrude, a Norwegian-American inventor who created the first outboard motor.

Historical Essay

Bashford, Coles (1816-1878)

Lawyer, Politician and Governor

Discover the history of Wisconsin governor Bashford Coles.

Read a short biography about this U.S. Senator famous for his penny-pinching attitude toward government spending and his courage in taking unpopular stands

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Helped Draft the Wisconsin Constitution

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Attorney General and State Senator

Explorer and Trader

Biography of Daniel Greysolon Sieur Duluth who helped protect the Wisconsin area against raids of the Iroquois.

Banker, Politician, Congressman and Railroad Promoter

Biography of banker, politician, Congressman and railroad promoter and executive Alexander Mitchell.

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, 8th Wisconsin Governor

Learn about the German born man who would become Wisconsin's 8th governor. This article includes links to original documents.
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If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.