The Shelbyville Independent School District serves area students.
The town was originally founded in the 1820s with settlers from the Nashville, Tennessee region. The town was originally called Nashville, but would be renamed Shelbyville in 1837 to honor the American Revolution hero and Kentucky governor Isaac Shelby. The post office was later opened in 1843.
Shelbyville became the flash-point in the Regulator-Moderator War. Most of the major battles of this famous feud were fought here or nearby. A Republic of Texas post office had been established by 1843. In 1866 in a contested fight for the county seat, county records were spirited away in the dead of night and Center became the new Shelby County seat of government.
The population of Shelbyville in 1884 was 150 which doubled by 1914. It reached a peak in 1929 with an estimated population of 600 but declined by half during the Great Depression. It slowly increased, reaching 550 residents in the late 1940s but fell again - reaching 215 by the late 1980s - the same number given for the 2000 census.
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