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Shelby County, Iowa facts for kids

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Shelby County
Shelby County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Shelby County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Iowa
Founded 1851
Named for Isaac Shelby
Seat Harlan
Largest city Harlan
Area
 • Total 598 sq mi (1,550 km2)
 • Land 598 sq mi (1,550 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (2 km2)  0.1%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 11,746
 • Density 19.642/sq mi (7.584/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 11,746. The county seat is Harlan. Its name is in honor of Isaac Shelby, the first Governor of Kentucky.

History

Shelby County was formed on January 15, 1851. It was named after General Isaac Shelby, a hero in the American Revolutionary War and the first Governor of Kentucky.

Early settling in Shelby County began in 1848 in Galland’s Grove. On February 4, 1855, Shelbyville was designated the county seat. In April, 1859, the seat was moved to Harlan. One year later the first courthouse was erected and a second courthouse was constructed in 1875. In 1892, the construction of the present courthouse was begun, this time of stone and three storeys high. The construction was completed in 1893 with the dedication on September 14. The 1892 Shelby County Courthouse and the surrounding buildings are all listed in the National Register of Historic places effective September 23, 1994. In 1978, the building was extensively restored and still serves as the courthouse.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 591 square miles (1,530 km2), of which 591 square miles (1,530 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (0.1%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
  • Iowa 37.svg Iowa Highway 37
  • Iowa 44.svg Iowa Highway 44
  • Iowa 173.svg Iowa Highway 173
  • Iowa 191.svg Iowa Highway 191

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 818
1870 2,540 210.5%
1880 12,696 399.8%
1890 17,611 38.7%
1900 17,932 1.8%
1910 16,552 −7.7%
1920 16,065 −2.9%
1930 17,131 6.6%
1940 16,720 −2.4%
1950 15,942 −4.7%
1960 15,825 −0.7%
1970 15,528 −1.9%
1980 15,043 −3.1%
1990 13,230 −12.1%
2000 13,173 −0.4%
2010 12,167 −7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018
ShelbyCountyIowaPop2020
Population of Shelby County from US census data

2020 census

The 2020 census recorded a population of 11,746 in the county, with a population density of 19.6271/sq mi (7.5781/km2). 96.51% of the population reported being of one race. 90.06% were non-Hispanic White, 0.45% were Black, 3.51% were Hispanic, 0.47% were Native American, 0.42% were Asian, 0.03% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 5.07% were some other race or more than one race. There were 5,421 housing units, of which 4,981 were occupied.

2010 census

The 2010 census recorded a population of 12,167 in the county, with a population density of 20.5931/sq mi (7.9510/km2). There were 5,542 housing units, of which 5,085 were occupied.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

Townships

  • Cass Township
  • Clay Township
  • Douglas Township
  • Fairview Township
  • Greeley Township
  • Grove Township
  • Center Township
  • Jackson Township
  • Jefferson Township
  • Lincoln Township
  • Monroe Township
  • Polk Township
  • Shelby Township
  • Union Township
  • Washington Township
  • Westphalia Township

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Shelby County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Harlan City 5,106
2 Elk Horn City 662
3 Shelby (partially in Pottawattamie County) City 641
4 Earling City 437
5 Irwin City 341
6 Defiance City 284
7 Panama City 221
8 Portsmouth City 195
9 Westphalia City 127
10 Tennant City 68
11 Kirkman City 64
12 Jacksonville CDP 30
13 Corley CDP 26
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