Illinois Counties
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Illinois Counties

There are one hundred and two counties in Illinois. St. Clair County was the first county established in what is today Illinois. Most counties in Illinois were named after early American leaders, especially of the American Revolutionary War, as well as soldiers from the Battle of Tippecanoe and the War of 1812.

Shelby County, Illinois

Shelby County Education, Geography, and HistoryShelby County, Illinois Courthouse

Shelby County is a county located in the state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 22,363. Shelby County was created on January 23, 1827. The county seat is Shelbyville. The county is named for Isaac Shelby (1750-1826), soldier in the American Revolutionary War and War of 1812, and first and fifth Governor of Kentucky.

Etymology - Origin of Shelby County Name

The county is named for Isaac Shelby, soldier of the American Revolution, the Indian Wars and the War of 1812, and Governor of Kentucky (1792-1796).


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Shelby County History

Shelby County was created on January 23, 1827 (Laws, 1827, p. 115) and was formed from Morgan County. Present area, or parts of it, formerly included in: Fayette County (1821-1827), Clark County (1819-1821), Crawford County (1816-1819), Edwards County (1815-1816), Madison County (1812-1815), St. Clair County (1801-1812) and Knox, Northwest Territory (1790-1801).

The County was named for Isaac Shelby, a soldier of the Revolution and Indian wars, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816. He commanded the Kentucky troops in the battle of Thames in the War of 1812. The County Seat is Shelbyville (1827-Present).

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 768 square miles (1,989 km2), of which, 759 square miles (1,965 km2) of it is land and 10 square miles (25 km2) of it (1.24%) is water.

Shelby county is located close to the center of Illinois. Hidden Springs State Forest and Eagle Creek State Recreation Area are located in this county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Moultrie County; Coles County
  • Southeast: Cumberland County; Effingham County
  • Southwest: Fayette County; Montgomery County
  • Northwest: Christian County; Macon County


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