Shively, Kentucky

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City of Shively
City of Shively is located in Kentucky
City of Shively
City of Shively
Location within the state of Kentucky
Coordinates: 38°11′35″N 85°48′58″W / 38.19306°N 85.81611°W / 38.19306; -85.81611Coordinates: 38°11′35″N 85°48′58″W / 38.19306°N 85.81611°W / 38.19306; -85.81611
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Jefferson
Incorporated 1938[1]
 • Mayor Sherry S. Conner
 • Total 4.6 sq mi (12.0 km2)
 • Land 4.6 sq mi (12.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 456 ft (139 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 15,157
 • Density 3,271.1/sq mi (1,263.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 40216, 40256
Area code(s) 502
FIPS code 21-70284
GNIS feature ID 2405462
Monument at Shively City Hall

Shively is a 3rd-class city in Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States and a suburb of Louisville within the Louisville Metro government.[1] As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 15,264, reflecting an increase of 107 (+0.7%) from 15,157 in 2000.


Following the settlement of Louisville at the Falls of the Ohio in 1778, farms spread out into the nearby countryside. Early landowners included Col. William Pope, Maj. Abner Field, and the Shivelys, Christian William and Jacob. Christian opened a mill and tavern on the section of his 1,000 acres (400 ha) tract near Mill Creek and the road—later incorporated as the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike—connecting Louisville to the Salt River.[2] This became the focus of a settlement known as the Shively precinct. He donated the land for a church in 1816 that is now known as Parkview Methodist.

A stagecoach stop was opened in 1831. The Elizabethtown and Paducah Railroad arrived in the 1870s.[2]

Shortly before the Civil War, the area became popular among German immigrants, mostly from Bavaria, and they erected St. Helen's Catholic Church in 1897. The community was commonly known as St. Helen's for the next few years, but the post office (est. 1902) could not adopt it owing to another community with that name in Lee Co.[2]

A streetcar line was extended to the area in 1904.

Eight whiskey distilleries opened nearby after the end of Prohibition. When Louisville began an attempt to annex and tax them during the Great Depression, they talked the residents of Shively into incorporating separately (finalized May 23, 1938) and annexing their district instead. Their $20-million revenue stream left the small city well funded, despite its becoming the state's fastest-growing city during the 1950s as white flight and suburbanization reached Louisville. The community was a sunset town into the 1960s: when activists Carl and Anne Braden bought a house and flipped it to a black family in 1954, the attacks upon their home—including shootings and a bomb exploded under their daughter's bedroom—became national headlines. No one was harmed and no one was ever convicted of the crime, but few other blacks followed.[3]

Increased taxes and changing tastes closed most of Shively's distilleries in the late 1960s. Shively's population has gradually declined since reaching 19,223 in 1970. Budget surpluses became shortfalls, and Shively tried but failed to annex more suburban territory in Pleasure Ridge Park in 1984. The same year, the town was hit with a scandal when police chief Michael Donio admitted to taking bribes to allow prostitution in the area. Such events led to the community's reputation as "Lively Shively."

The area's fortunes have since improved somewhat, with various public works projects occurring and some businesses moving to the area. However, the area along Seventh Street north of Dixie is still known for its seedy adult-entertainment businesses.[4] Into the 2000s, the area lagged behind eastern and southern Jefferson County, with one of its few remaining large retail centers, the 150,000-square-foot (14,000 m2) Dillard's on Dixie Highway (est. 1956), closing in 2007 due to slow sales at the location despite the chain's general profitability in the Louisville area.[5]

Shively's modern boundaries are roughly Millers and Bernheim Lane to the north (Louisville's Algonquin neighborhood); Louisville's Seventh Street to the east; I-264 and St. Dennis to the west; and Rockford Lane and Pleasure Ridge Park to the south.


Shively is centered around the junction of US 60 and the Dixie Highway (US 31W) near 38°11′35″N 85°48′58″W / 38.193175°N 85.816166°W / 38.193175; -85.816166.[6] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1940 1,273
1950 2,401 88.6%
1960 15,115 529.5%
1970 19,139 26.6%
1980 16,819 −12.1%
1990 15,535 −7.6%
2000 15,157 −2.4%
2010 15,264 0.7%
U.S. Census Bureau[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 15,157 people, 6,667 households, and 4,080 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,271.1 people per square mile (1,264.0/km²). There were 6,929 housing units at an average density of 1,495.4 per square mile (577.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.26% White, 30.32% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.78% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.39% of the population.

There were 6,667 households out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,422, and the median income for a family was $38,652. Males had a median income of $31,368 versus $25,190 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,574. About 12.2% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.7% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ a b Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Shively, Kentucky". Accessed 26 Aug 2013.
  2. ^ a b c The Encyclopedia of Louisville, p. 819. "Shively". University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 2001. Accessed 10 October 2013.
  3. ^ White, Bob (2005-09-25). "Andrew Wade IV, first black man to buy a house in Shively, dies". The Courier-Journal. p. 06B. 
  4. ^ Riley, Jason (2005-11-29). "Four adult bookstores ordered to clean up". The Courier-Journal. p. 05B. 
  5. ^ "Shively Dillard's to close in Feb.; 170 employees offered transfers". Courier-Journal. 2006-12-13. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Census Bureau Retrieved on 2010-2-12
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 


  • Rowena, Bolin (1989). A Place in Time: The Story of Louisville's Neighborhoods. 
  • "Shively". The Encyclopedia of Louisville (1 ed.). 2001. 

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