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Shelbyville is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Shelby County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 14,045 at the 2010 census.
The town of Shelbyville was established in October 1792 at the first meeting of the Shelby County Court after local landowner William Shannon agreed to lay off 50 acres (20 ha) of his property for the community and provide 1 acre free for public buildings. The grant ensured that Shelbyville rather than nearby Squire Boone's Station would become the seat of Shelby County. The agricultural town was located on the west bank of Clear Creek at its confluence with Mulberry Creek and near a route between Louisville and Frankfort. The town required new residents to construct a 1½-story log cabin with a stone chimney; by 1795, there were forty of these and, by 1800, there were 262 residents. New lots were platted in 1803, 1815, and 1816.
The Shelbyville Academy was established in 1798 at Eighth and Washington; it became Shelby College and moved to College Street in 1836, affiliated with the Episcopal Church in 1841, changed its name to St. James College after the Civil War, and closed in 1871, replaced by a public elementary school. Science Hill Female Academy was established in 1825 on Washington Street; it functioned as a college preparatory school for young women throughout the South prior to closing in 1939 at the end of the Great Depression. The Shelbyville Female Seminary was established in 1839 and moved to its longtime residence at Seventh and Main in 1846; it became the Shelbyville Female Institute in 1849, the Presbyterian Stuart's Female College in 1851, the Shelbyville Female College in 1868, and the Baptist Shelbyville College from 1890 until its closure in 1912.
The Louisville and Shelbyville Turnpike was completed in the 1830s, following a ridgeline path between the two sites dating back to the Indians. After the Louisville and Frankfort Railroad was constructed near the road in present-day Cherokee Gardens in 1849, the turnpike company rerouted and constructed a new road nearby (originally known as the "Shelbyville Branch", now Lexington Avenue in Louisville) which was completed in 1851.
Late in the Civil War, on August 24, 1864, Confederate guerillas under local sympathizer Capt. Dave Martin attacked the Shelby County Courthouse, attempting to seize its cache of muskets.
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