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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Menominee War Chief

Learn about the leadership of this Menominee War Chief and his negotiations with the U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

French Fur Trader

Learn about one of the first French fur traders to visit Wisconsin. Read about his experiences with Indian tribes and his exploration of the countryside.

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.

Brief biography of Helen Farnsworth Mears, the sculptress whose nine-foot statue, "Genius of Wisconsin," now stands in the WI state capitol.

Last Socialist to Run a Major American City

Learn about Milwaukee's third and last Socialist mayor. Read about the many improvements made to the city of Milwaukee under his leadership.

Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

Read an account of the French explorer who claimed much of Wisconsin for France and who traded with several Indian tribes near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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.

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

Paul, Les, 1915-2009

Legendary Guitarist and Electronics Innovator

Learn about Les Paul, pioneer of the solid-body guitar and innovator in recording techniques.
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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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