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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Read this informative article about the life of the Wisconsin born author, most famous for the children's book series Little House on the Prairie.

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.

Lawyer, Politician, Senator, Cabinet Officer and Philanthropist

Biography of William Freeman Vilas, 1840-1908.

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

Bashford, Coles (1816-1878)

Lawyer, Politician and Governor

Discover the history of Wisconsin governor Bashford Coles.

Read about this Wisconsonite, whose leadership in the Women's Suffrage Movement helped Wisconsin become the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment.

Read about the Wisconsin governor's tragic death, which occurred while he was helping wounded Civil War soldiers after the Battle of Shiloh.

Historical Essay

Brunson, Alfred (1793-1882)

Wisconsin's first Methodist Missionary

Biography of Methodist clergyman, lawyer, politician and author Alfred Brunson

Ojibwe Chief

Biography of Ojibwe chief Joe Gishkitawag "Cut Ear" White, who was murdered by white game wardens.

Historical Essay

Bascom, John (1827-1911)

Educator, University President and Author

Brief biography of John Bascom, president of the University of Wisconsin from 1874 to 1887.
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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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