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Shelbyville, Indiana facts for kids

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Shelbyville, Indiana
Aerial photo of Shelbyville
Aerial photo of Shelbyville
"Pride in Progress"
Location of Shelbyville in Shelby County, Indiana.
Location of Shelbyville in Shelby County, Indiana.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Shelby
Township Addison
 • Total 12.81 sq mi (33.19 km2)
 • Land 12.55 sq mi (32.50 km2)
 • Water 0.27 sq mi (0.69 km2)  2.36%
764 ft (233 m)
 • Total 20,067
 • Density 1,599.22/sq mi (617.48/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 317
FIPS code 18-69318
GNIS feature ID 443347
Interstate Highways
  • I-74
U.S. Highways
  • US 421
Major State Roads
  • SR 9
  • SR 44
Waterways Little Blue River, Big Blue River
Airports Shelbyville Municipal Airport

Shelbyville is a city in Addison Township, Shelby County, in the U.S. state of Indiana and is the county seat. The population was 20,067 as of the 2020 census.


In 1818, the land that would become Shelbyville was ceded to the United States by the Miami tribe in the Treaty of St. Mary's. Also in 1818, the backwoodsman Jacob Whetzel and a party cut a trail through this "New Purchase" from the Whitewater River at Laurel due west to the White River at Waverly. This trail became known as Whetzel's Trace and was the first east-west road into the New Purchase of central Indiana. Whetzel's Trace was cut just 4 miles north of site of Shelbyville and proved important in the settlement of Shelby County.

Shelbyville was platted in 1822. Shelbyville was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, the first and fifth Governor of Kentucky and soldier in Lord Dunmore's War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. The town incorporated January 21, 1850.

The Shelbyville post office has been in operation since 1823.

The city charter received at that time was destroyed in the City Hall fire on January 1, 1928.

A railroad was built connecting Shelbyville to Indianapolis in the late 1830s, the first railroad in the state, that later expanded to connect to Madison and Jeffersonville.

Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 crashed on September 9, 1969 near Fairland. Nearly thirty of the 82 people killed were never identified and were buried in a mass grave in Shelbyville.

John Hamilton House, Lora B. Pearson School, Porter Pool Bathhouse, Shelbyville Commercial Historic District, Shelby County Courthouse, Shelbyville High School, and West Side Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Shelbyville is located in Central Indiana and within the Indianapolis metropolitan area. It is 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Indianapolis. The city is at the fork of the Little Blue and Big Blue Rivers.

According to the 2010 census, Shelbyville has a total area of 11.845 square miles (30.68 km2), of which 11.56 square miles (29.94 km2) (or 97.59%) is land and 0.285 square miles (0.74 km2) (or 2.41%) is water.


Shelbyville has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) experiencing four distinct seasons. Annual precipitation: 40.14 inches Average temperature: 54.14 degrees


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 446
1850 995 123.1%
1860 1,960 97.0%
1870 2,731 39.3%
1880 3,745 37.1%
1890 5,451 45.6%
1900 7,169 31.5%
1910 9,500 32.5%
1920 9,701 2.1%
1930 10,618 9.5%
1940 10,791 1.6%
1950 11,734 8.7%
1960 14,317 22.0%
1970 15,094 5.4%
1980 14,989 −0.7%
1990 15,336 2.3%
2000 17,951 17.1%
2010 19,191 6.9%
2020 20,067 4.6%
Source: US Census Bureau

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 19,191 people, 7,682 households, and 4,848 families living in the city. The population density was 1,660.1 inhabitants per square mile (641.0/km2). There were 8,658 housing units at an average density of 749.0 per square mile (289.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 1.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 3.2% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.1% of the population.

There were 7,682 households, of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.9% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 35.9 years. 25.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.2% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 13% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.


Shelbyville Central Schools consists of Shelbyville Senior High School, Shelbyville Middle School, Coulston Elementary, Loper Elementary, and Hendricks Elementary. The high school and middle school's mascot is Golden Bears. Coulston is the Comets, Hendricks is the Hurricanes and Loper is the Bulldogs.

St. Joseph Elementary School is a private school, associated with St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Shelbyville.

Prior to 1870, no public education was provided for Shelbyville's black residents. In 1870, the state required communities to provide education, but allowed them to choose whether they would be integrated or segregated. Shelbyville schools were integrated at the high school level, but segregated in the elementary grades until 1949.

Shelbyville has a public library, a branch of the Shelby County Public Library.

Notable people

Charles Major
  • Sandy Allen (1955–2008), world's tallest living female (7 feet 7 inches (2.31 m))
  • James "Bucky" Barnes, fictional character from Marvel Comics universe and former Captain America, was born in Shelbyville
  • William Garrett, Indiana Mr. Basketball, first African-American basketball player in Big Ten Conference for Indiana University, played for Boston Celtics and Harlem Globetrotters. Led Shelbyville HS basketball team to its only state high school basketball championship in 1947.
  • Ken Gunning, basketball player for Indiana Hoosiers and head coach at Wichita State University
  • Thomas Hendricks, 21st Vice President of the United States under Grover Cleveland in 1885
  • Victor Higgins (1884–1949), painter
  • John W. Hill (1890–1977), founder of PR firm Hill & Knowlton in Cleveland in 1927
  • Marjorie Main (1890-1975), Ma Kettle in 10 Ma and Pa Kettle movies
  • Charles Major (1856–1913), novelist
  • Edna Parker (1893-2008), oldest living person at the time of her death at age 115
  • Mike Phipps, NFL quarterback for NFL's Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears. Phipps finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1969.
  • James Pierce, silent film actor.
  • Kid Quill (born in 1994), Recording Artist
  • Waldo E. Sexton, entrepreneur
  • Wilbur Shaw, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner in 1937, 1939, and 1940
  • W. Roland Stine, educator and politician
  • Bob Zimny NFL football player for the Chicago Cardinals. Won the 1947 NFL Championship.
  • Mike Sexton Professional poker player and commentator. Poker Hall of Fame since 2009

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Shelbyville (Indiana) para niños

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