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

Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975

Learn more about this Madisonian's contribution to the literary community. This article details his Pulitzer prize-winning plays and novels.

Historical Essay

Edwin Witte, 1887-1960

Father of the Social Security Act

Learn about this Wisconsin-born economist and his active role in the development of the Social Security Act.

Father of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry, Wisconsin Governor

Find out about the Wisconsin governor who championed for high standards in the dairy industry and founded the State Dairyman's Association.

This woman was the wife of "Fighting Bob" La Follette. Read about her influence in politics, specifically in the woman's suffrage and pacifist's movements.

Historical Essay

Lapham, Increase, 1811-1875

Wisconsin's First Scientist

Read about Wisconsin's first scientist. Learn about his achievements; including his scientific writings, and his work as an engineer and land surveyor.

Menominee War Chief

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

Read about the life of this influential Wisconsonite and his contributions to the field of architecture. Article includes links to many primary sources.

French Exploration of the North American Interior

Find out about the two French explorers that traversed the Wisconsin countryside in 1673. This artcile details their exploration of the Mississippi.

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

Nelson, Gaylord, 1916-2005

Founder of Earth Day

This Wisconsin Senator, best known as the founder of Earth Day, championed the preservation of the environment and natural resources.
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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.

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