Local histories and biographies can be a big asset to your research. The "mug book" is one type of local history. Many of these were celebrating the centennial anniversary of a county. Often prominent families paid to have articles included on their ancestors. Some good info can come out of these books. The better option is a general history of a county or town published by a local historian. These histories can include some choice tidbits on a family such as when they arrived in the area, where they lived, occupation, offices held and many others. If the book is indexed, your search will be easier. Most have been indexed, either by the author or the local genealogical/historical society. In some cases you may find a separate index to several local histories.
Frequently, the local histories are accompanied by a biographical section. The biographies are generally of people of some note in politics, local business, early settlement, military service and so forth.
You may find one of your direct line in the bio of a collateral ancestor [sibling, in-law, cousin, etc.] There might be a brief mention of your individual or you could hit the jackpot with a 3-4 generation look at the family.
As with all sources, double-check the facts.