Trails to the Past


Shelby County



Trails to the Past of Iowa is accepting any donations of genealogy materials that you may have such as marriage announcements, news articles, old obituaries, births, (you do not need the birth certificate) just the information, and biographies.  If you have any of these items please contact me Marie Miller the Iowa State Administrator.

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.

On Line Data

    Elk Horn

Census-designated places
Other unincorporated places

    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

Shelby County Court House

Adjacent counties
    Crawford County (north)
    Audubon County (east)
    Cass County (southeast)
    Pottawattamie County (south)
    Harrison County (west)


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