Welcome to Shelby County, Texas

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Shelby County Texas

Shelby County was first organized under the Mexican government as Tenehaw Municipality; Nashville, founded in 1824, was the most important town. In 1836 the Congress of the Republic of Texas established Shelby County, named for Isaac Shelby, hero of the American Revolution and governor of Kentucky. The name of the town Nashville was changed to Shelbyville, and Shelbyville became the county seat, which it remained until 1866, when the county seat was moved to Center.

The courthouse in Center, along with all county records, was destroyed by fire in 1882. A new courthouse, modeled on an Irish castle, was designed by the architect John Joseph Emmett Gibson, an Irish immigrant. It was completed in 1885 and was recognized in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.  The courthouse still housed the county government in 1984. In 1840 disputes over land titles and fraudulent land transactions led to the opposition of two factions, the Regulators and the Moderators, and a series of armed conflicts that came to be known as the Regulator-Moderator War.

Shelby County's white inhabitants overwhelmingly supported the secession movement during the winter of 1860-61. When the secession ordinance was submitted for popular approval in February of 1861, county voters approved the measure by a vote of 333 to 28. They also wholeheartedly supported the war effort of the Confederacy that followed. One county source estimated that as many as 750 men from Shelby County served in either state or Confederate army units. Shelby County was never occupied by Union forces, and thus escaped the destruction which devastated other parts of the South. Nonetheless, the war years were difficult for the county's citizens. 
[Excerpts from: Cecil Harper, Jr., "SHELBY COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas State Historical Association]

Photo by Billy Hathorn CC BY-SA 3.0
SHELBY COUNTY COURTHOUSE

CITIES, TOWNS,  AND POPULATED PLACES

* Center (county seat) * Huxley * Joaquin * Timpson * Tenaha * Arcadia * Brooklyn * Dreka * Patroon *

* Possum Trot * Shelbyville * Weaver *

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Online Data
Cemeteries
Church
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Family
Records
Miscellaneous
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School
Records
Book - History of Regulators and Moderators and The Shelby County War in 1841 and 1842
Website Updates:
Apr 2018: Visiting News: GARRISON, WILLIS, LACY, AVERY, TODD, GARRETT, CLEMENS, WYLIE, SMITH,MCLAUGHLIN
Feb 2018: Index of Probate Records 1881 - 1939
Dec 2017: Website updated and pages are mobile friendly; Bk - History of Regulators and Moderators and Shelby County War - COMPLETED; Death News: KIRKLEY
 
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Surrounding Counties

Panola County (north)

De Soto Parish, Louisiana (northeast)

Sabine Parish, Louisiana (east)

Sabine County  (south)

San Augustine County (south)

Nacogdoches County (southwest)

Rusk County (northwest)

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