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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Brief bio of Richard Theodore Ely, professor, economist, social reformer and author who played a votal role in shaping the "Wisconsin Idea."

Historical Essay

Kemper, Jackson 1789-1870

Episcopal Missionary

Discover the history of pioneer Protestant Episcopal churchman and missionary Jackson Kemper, who established Nashotah House and Racine College

Businessman and Historical Society President

Biography of Wisconsin businessman and president of the Wisconsin Historical Society David Clark Everest.

Banker, Politician, Congressman and Railroad Promoter

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

Confederacy President's Experience in Wisconsin

Discover the history of Confederacy president Jefferson Davis in Wisconsin

Historical Essay

Kilbourn, Byron (1801-1870)

Land Speculator and Politician

Brief biography of surveyor, land speculator, railroad promoter and politician Byron Kilbourn, twice elected mayor of Milwaukee.

Historical Essay

Brown, Olympia 1835-1926

Suffragist and Minister

Biography of suffragist and Universalist minister Olympia Brown, the first female minister in America.

Historical Essay

John R. Commons, 1862-1945

The Spiritual Father of Social Security

Read about the life of the "spiritual father" of Social Security and his connection with Progressive Wisconsin ideals.

Historical Essay

Porlier, Jacques 1765-1839

Fur Trader and Chief Justice

Biography of fur trader and chief justice of the Brown County Court Jacques Porlier.

Brief biography of University of Wisconsin chemistry and natural history professor, Ezra Slocum Carr.

Brief biography of University of Wisconsin chemistry and natural history professor, Ezra Slocum Carr.
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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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