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Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indianamarker. As of 2000, the population was 43,445. Its estimated 2005 population was 43,766. The county seat is Shelbyvillemarker .


Shelby County was organized in 1821. It was named for Gen. Isaac Shelby, who defeated the British at the Battle of Kings Mountainmarker in the Revolutionary War. Shelby then became the first Governor of Kentucky. During the War of 1812, he led the army of Kentucky into Canadamarker, and defeated the British at the decisive Battle of the Thamesmarker in 1813.

George W. Clarke, Governor of Iowamarker from 1913 to 1917, was born in Shelby County, Indiana, on Oct. 24, 1852.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 413 square miles (1,070 km²), of which 413 square miles (1,069 km²) is land and 0 square miles (1 km²) (0.11%) is water.

Cities and towns

Unincorporated towns


Adjacent counties

Major highways


Shelby County

Population by year

2005 43,766

2000 43,445

1990 40,307

1980 39,887

1970 37,797

1960 34,093

1950 28,026

1940 25,953

1930 26,552

1920 25,982

1910 26,802

1900 26,491

1890 25,454

1880 25,257

1870 21,892

1860 19,569

1850 15,502

1840 12,005

1830 6,295

As of the census of 2000, there were 43,445 people, 16,561 households, and 12,056 families residing in the county. The population density was 105 people per square mile (41/km²). There were 17,633 housing units at an average density of 43 per square mile (16/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.26% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. 1.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 31.1% were of German, 28.3% Americanmarker, 11.9% English and 9.7% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 16,561 households out of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.20% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 22.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,649, and the median income for a family was $51,271. Males had a median income of $36,809 versus $25,021 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,324. About 4.80% of families and 7.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.70% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.


The county government is a constitutional body, and is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, and by the Indiana Code.

County Council: The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Representatives are elected from county districts. The council members serve four year terms. They are responsible for setting salaries, the annual budget, and special spending. The council also has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax that is subject to state level approval, excise taxes, and service taxes.

Board of Commissioners: The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners. The commissioners are elected county-wide, in staggered terms, and each serves a four year term. One of the commissioners, typically the most senior, serves as president. The commissioners are charged with executing the acts legislated by the council, the collection of revenue, and managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.

Court: The county maintains a small claims court that can handle some civil cases. The judge on the court is elected to a term of four years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association. The judge is assisted by a constable who is also elected to terms of four years. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court.

County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, coroner, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor, and circuit court clerk. Each of these elected officers serve terms of four years and oversee different parts of the county government. Members elected to any county government position are required to declare a party affiliation and be a resident of the county.

Currently Elected Officials

  • County Commissioners
    • David Mohr
    • Tony Newton
    • Roger Laird
  • County Council
    • Terry Smith
    • Bob Carmony
    • Tom Debaun
    • Brent Fuchs
    • Linda Sanders
    • Tami Grubbs
    • Margaret Brunk


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