A few surname searches didn't turn up any of my ancestors, so I thought I'd try searching on Greenwood, Nebraska, the little village northeast of Lincoln where many of my ancestors settled.
To my surprise, I discovered that Greenwood had spawned some inventors.
On May 1, 1883, Walter Trumbull received a patent for his improvement to windmills.
On June 11, 1889, William Carr received a patent on his ironing table.
On June 4, 1901, John Stradley of Greenwood received a patent for his corn sheller.
On June 11, 1907, W. Dean received a patent on his dropping device - which is a system for planting corn at regular intervals.
And on December 27, 1910, Sterling McDonald received a patent on his cuspidor. I don't know if that one ever took off because 40 years later, my grandfather Bill Kelly was still using a Hills Brothers coffee can for his spitoon!
While I doubt if I make as much use of Google Scholar as I do of Google Books, it's nice to know that it's there if I need to know about the taphonomy and population dynamics of an early Pliocene vertebrate fauna.