Wisconsin Historical Society

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About the William Best Hesseltine Award

About the William Best Hesseltine Award | Wisconsin Historical Society
Snapshot of Professor Hesseltine seated holding a book he wrote.

Professor William Hesseltine, 1948

Madison, Wisconsin. Hesseltine holds a copy of his book, "Lincoln and the War," during 1948 Book Week. Source: Wisconsin State Journal. View the original source document: WHI 55471

The William Best Hesseltine Award was established in 1965 in memory of historian and Wisconsin Historical Society past president William B. Hesseltine.


Each summer readers vote for their favorite original article from a list of the previous year's eligible articles published in the "Wisconsin Magazine of History." You may vote for only one article.

Voting Period

Vote each year from June 1 to August 15.

How to Vote

The voting period for the 2015-2016 Hesseltine Award is currently Open. Place your vote here.

From June 1 to August 15 an online ballot is posted with eligible articles from a full volume (four issues) of the "Wisconsin Magazine of History." The order of the issues in a volume are autumn, winter, spring and summer. Articles on the ballot are listed in the order in which they appeared in their respective issues.

During the voting period you may either sumbit your ballot online or print, complete and mail the ballot to:

Hesseltine Award, Wisconsin Magazine of History
Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706-1482

Each award winner receives a $100 prize. Results will be published in the winter issue of the magazine and will be announced online in December. You can view last year's winner in our feature story 2013-2014 William Best Hesseltine Award Winner Announced.

Recent Award Winners

  • 2014 - 2015: Erika Laabs
    for her article, "The Farm at Ten Chimneys: A Closer Look at the Home of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne"
  • 2013 - 2014: Kimberly Aime
    for her article, "Heritage of the Harvest: Taming the Wild Cranberry"
  • 2012 - 2013:   Matthew Prigge
    for his article, "The 'Girl-Man' of Milwaukee : The Lives of Cora Anderson"
  • 2011 - 2012:   Kathryn Parks and Colleen McFarland
    for their article, "Stitch by Stich: The Life and Legacy of Elizabeth Zimmermann"
  • 2010 - 2011:   Jeffrey J. McLean
    for the article, "The MacArthurs and the Mitchells: Wisconsin's First Military Families"
  • 2009 - 2010:   Lynda Salisbury and Lonna Schumacher Morouney
    for the article, "Encore, Encore! On Stage with the Sidell Sisters and the Leo Kehl School of Dancing"
  • 2008 - 2009:   William Povletich
    for the article, "Liberace: The Milwaukee Maestro"
  • 2007 - 2008:   Mark Speltz
    for the article, "If Ordinary Walls Could Talk: Piecing Together the History of My House"
  • 2006 - 2007:   Erika Janik
    for the article, "Good Morning Homemakers!"
  • 2005 - 2006:   Amelia Klem Osterud
    for the article, "A Life of Her Own Choosing: Anna Gibbons' Fifty Years as a Tattooed Lady"
  • 2004 - 2005:   Russell Horton
    for the article, "Unwanted in a White Man's War: The Civil War Service of the Green Bay Tribes"
  • 2003 - 2004:   Clark Kidder
    for the article, "West by Orphan Train"
  • 2002 - 2003:   William H. Tishler and Erik M. Ghenoiu
    for the article, "Conservation Pioneers: Jens Jensen and the Friends of Our Native Landscape"
  • 2001 - 2002:   Jim Draeger and Gerry Strey (tie)
    for Jim Draeger's article, "Postal-Perfect: My Pursuit of Mail-Order Homes in Wisconsin," and Gerry Strey's article, "The 'Oleo Wars': Wisconsin's Fight over the Demon Spread"

Have Questions?

For more information, email the "Wisconsin Magazine of History" at wmh@wisconsinhistory.org or write to the address above.