Shelby County, Ohio

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Not to be confused with Shelby, Ohio.
Shelby County, Ohio
Shelby County Courthouse
Seal of Shelby County, Ohio
Map of Ohio highlighting Shelby County
Location in the state of Ohio
Map of the United States highlighting Ohio
Ohio's location in the U.S.
Founded April 1, 1819[1]
Named for Isaac Shelby
Seat Sidney
Largest city Sidney
 • Total 410.69 sq mi (1,064 km2)
 • Land 407.68 sq mi (1,056 km2)
 • Water 3.02 sq mi (8 km2), 0.74%
 • (2010) 49,423
 • Density 121.2/sq mi (47/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 49,423, which is an increase of 3.2% from 47,910 in 2000.[2] Its county seat is Sidney.[3] Its name honors Isaac Shelby, former governor of Kentucky.[4]

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.[5][6] 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.[7] 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."[8]

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.[9]


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 410.69 square miles (1,063.7 km2), of which 407.68 square miles (1,055.9 km2) (or 99.27%) is land and 3.02 square miles (7.8 km2) (or 0.74%) is water.[10]

Adjacent counties[edit]


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%
Est. 2012 49,167 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
2012 Estimate[2]

As of the census[12] of 2010, there were 49,423 people, 18,488 households, 2.63 persons per household. There were 20,185 housing units The racial makeup of the county was 95.1% White, 2.1% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 0.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 18,488 households out of which 36.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.80% were non-families. 22.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.60% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,475, and the median income for a family was $51,331. Males had a median income of $36,212 versus $24,470 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,255. About 5.30% of families and 6.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.30% of those under age 18 and 5.30% of those age 65 or over.



Sidney as seen from the east




Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable natives[edit]

Samuel Pellman, prolific electronic music composer and scholar

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ohio County Profiles: Shelby County" (PDF). Ohio Department of Development. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Shelby County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Shelby County data". Ohio State University Extension Data Center. Retrieved 2007-04-28. [dead link]
  5. ^ Peter Finkelman, "Thomas Jefferson and Anti-Slavery: The Myth Goes On", Virginia Historical Quarterly, Vol. 102, No. 2 (April 1994), p. 222, accessed 14 March 2011
  6. ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Randolph, John". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  7. ^ David Lodge, "John Randolph and His Slaves", Shelby County Historical Society, 1998, accessed 15 March 2011
  8. ^ David Lodge, "Rumley", from Howe's History of Ohio (1846), Shelby County Historical Society, 1998, accessed 15 March 2011
  9. ^ David Lodge, "Randolph Slaves Reunion", Shelby County Historical Society, 1998, accessed 15 March 2011
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°20′N 84°12′W / 40.33°N 84.20°W / 40.33; -84.20