City Of Shelbyville

44 West Washington Street

Shelbyville and Shelby County are a part of a huge territory, known as the "New Purchase", which the Delaware and other tribes of Indians ceded by treaty to the United States, October 3, 1818, at St. Mary's, Ohio. The area was not opened for settlement until 1820, the Indians having agreed to vacate the ceded lands by that date.

In 1820 the "New Purchase" was formally opened for settlement and most of the rich farm land which now comprises Shelby County was speedily claimed by purchasers at the Brookville Government Land Office.

The county was first divided into four civil townships, but since has been made into its present fourteen townships. Shelbyville is in Addison, the central township. The first house in present Shelbyville was built by Francis Walker on the lot at the northwest corner of Washington and Tompkins Streets.

Shelbyville was incorporated January 21, 1850, by a special act of the Legislature, according to county histories. The city charter received at that time was destroyed in the City Hall fire, January 1, 1928.

For many years, the chief industry of Shelbyville was the manufacture of high-grade furniture, using the fine hardwoods which grew in abundance in the surrounding area. As the forest gave way to farm land, the furniture business--still important--has ceased to dominate the local manufacturing field. Today Shelbyville is a community of successful diversified industries.