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Shelby County, Ohio facts for kids

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Shelby County
Shelby County Courthouse
Shelby County Courthouse
Official seal of Shelby County
Map of Ohio highlighting Shelby County
Location within the U.S. state of Ohio
Map of the United States highlighting Ohio
Ohio's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Ohio
Founded April 1, 1819
Named for Isaac Shelby
Seat Sidney
Largest city Sidney
 • Total 411 sq mi (1,060 km2)
 • Land 408 sq mi (1,060 km2)
 • Water 3.0 sq mi (8 km2)  0.7%%
 • Total 48,230
 • Density 117.35/sq mi (45.31/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 4th

Shelby County is a county in the northwestern portion of the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 48,230. Its county seat is Sidney. Its name honors Isaac Shelby, first governor of Kentucky.

Shelby County comprises the Sidney, OH Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Dayton-Springfield-Sidney, OH Combined Statistical Area.


The Algonquian-speaking Shawnee Native Americans had come into the area in the 18th century, displacing the Ojibwa-speaking Ottawa of the Anishinaabeg, a related language group who moved northwest. The Shawnee were joined by the Iroquois, Seneca and Mingo peoples as well, displaced by colonial encroachment to the east. In 1792 the European-American pioneer John Hardin was killed by the Shawnee in Shelby County. Early settlers named the first county seat of Hardin after him.

Shelby County was created in 1819 from Miami County. For many years it contained Minster, New Bremen, etc.; these were included in Auglaize County when it was created from Shelby and Allen counties.

In 1846, a group of 383 free blacks from Virginia, called the "Randolph Slaves", settled in the county, most at Rumley. They had been freed by the 1833 will of the Virginia planter John Randolph of Roanoke. He provided money for their transportation and resettlement on land in a free state. Their gaining freedom was delayed by court challenges to Randolph's will, but the families were freed and traveled in 1846. Randolph had provided that those over the age of 40 were given 10 acres each for resettlement. A contemporary history described Rumley in the following way: "There are 400 Negroes (half the population of Van Buren Township) as prosperous as their white neighbors and equal to the whites in morals, religion and intelligence."

In 1900 survivors and descendants formed the Randolph Ex-Slaves Association (later they changed the name to the Randolph Slave Association) and held their first reunion at Midway Park near Piqua. Sixty-two of the original settlers attended who had been born in Virginia into slavery. After being manumitted, they had come to Ohio as small children with their families. They were called the "Old Dominions" after the nickname of Virginia; the "Buckeyes" were those descendants born in Ohio. Over the years, the reunions were also held at Troy and the Shelby County Fairgrounds, with 100-300 attending.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 411 square miles (1,060 km2), of which 408 square miles (1,060 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.7%) is water.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,106
1830 3,671 74.3%
1840 12,154 231.1%
1850 13,958 14.8%
1860 17,493 25.3%
1870 20,748 18.6%
1880 24,137 16.3%
1890 24,707 2.4%
1900 24,625 −0.3%
1910 24,663 0.2%
1920 25,923 5.1%
1930 24,924 −3.9%
1940 26,071 4.6%
1950 28,488 9.3%
1960 33,586 17.9%
1970 37,748 12.4%
1980 43,089 14.1%
1990 44,915 4.2%
2000 47,910 6.7%
2010 49,423 3.2%
2020 48,230 −2.4%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 49,423 people, 18,467 households, and 13,409 families in the county. The population density was 121.2 inhabitants per square mile (46.8/km2). There were 20,173 housing units at an average density of 49.5 per square mile (19.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.7% white, 1.9% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 39.8% were German, 11.0% were Irish, 9.2% were American, and 7.8% were English.

Of the 18,467 households, 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.4% were non-families, and 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.09. The median age was 37.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,475 and the median income for a family was $58,473. Males had a median income of $41,924 versus $30,487 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,948. About 8.9% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.


Sidney from the east
Sidney as seen from the east




  • Clinton Township
  • Cynthian Township
  • Dinsmore Township
  • Franklin Township
  • Green Township
  • Jackson Township
  • Loramie Township
  • McLean Township
  • Orange Township
  • Perry Township
  • Salem Township
  • Turtle Creek Township
  • Van Buren Township
  • Washington Township

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

  • Jared Hoying, Professional Baseball Player
  • Paul Lauterbur, chemist and Nobel Prize laureate
  • J. Edward Russell, former U.S. Representative from Ohio
  • Bill Steinkemper, American football player

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Shelby (Ohio) para niños

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