Most American towns, cities, and counties are the subject of published local histories. Many of these, especially those from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, include biographies of Local Worthies and can be valuable sources for people of largely local reputation. Some of these histories are scholarly productions, but many were financed by the persons whose biographies are included and must be used with caution.
Widener has a fine collection of U.S. local histories starting at US10800. You can find them in the HOLLIS Catalog or browse. The section for each state begins with publications of state-wide interest, then county histories, then publications on towns and cities arranged alphabetically by city or town.
Many state and local historical societies collect biographical information in local card files, vertical files, etc. They usually will answer reference questions by letter, phone or email.
Find them in:
Directory of historical organizations in the United States and Canada.
LOCATION: Schlesinger: Ref. 973.025 A512 Library has: 14th ed.
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC E172.A1 D7x Earlier RR 3621.66 Latest
LOCATION: Widener: RR 3621.66 Latest WID-LC E172.A1 D7x Earlier
American County Histories
An online collection of histories for US counties