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Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Shelby County, Iowa


"Purple Martin Capital of Iowa"

Page Contents for Shelby, Iowa

Statistics & Facts


History & History-related items



Statistics & Facts

The Iowa state capital is Des Moines.
The population of Shelby is approximately 696 (2000), 641 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 271 (1990), 263 (2010).
The amount of land area in Shelby is 4.422 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0 sq kilometers.
The distance from Shelby to Washington DC is 1027 miles.
The distance to the Iowa state capital is 97 miles. (as the crow flies)
Shelby is positioned 41.50 degrees north of the equator and 95.45 degrees west of the prime meridian.


at the southwestern point of Shelby County at exit 34 of Interstate 80 on Highway M16.
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History & History Related Items

The town of Shelby was founded as a railroad town in 1870 and soon became a bustling community in the fertile farmland between the Nishnabotna River and Mosquito Creek. The Rock Island Railroad left the town in the 50's and 60's, however, when it constructed a short-cut from Council Bluffs and Atlantic that saved 17 miles of winding route. Part of that route is in the process of being converted to a trail, crossing over Stone Arch, a landmark just east of Shelby. In the 1970's a new transportation link was built that has been a key factor in the economic health and well-being of the community. Interstate 80 that connects both coasts of the United States passes right by Shelby and is a vital connection to the nation. In recent years, Shelby has become a host to visitors from all over the world. Several landmarks give the community a distinctive character such as: a 76-foot tall Agricultural Symbol as a tribute to agriculture is located in a park featuring plantings of prairie grass and wildflowers, a favorite rest stop of travelers; an Antique Coke sign restored in 1986 from original 1932 vintage; the boyhood home of Clyde Williams, all american athlete; and nearby Carsten's Farm, a demonstration farm of 1880's era. Recently, Shelby has been attempting to become the Purple Martin Capital of Iowa in an effort to use ecological sound ways to control mosquitoes. Over fifty martin houses in the community establish this title and mainstreet banners now boast of widespread community participation. This history is provided by the City of Shelby.
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The founding of Shelby


Shelby City Government

City Hall
(712) 544-2404
(712) 544-2703 Fax

Mayor/city council type of government


Shelby County government official website Shelby


The population of Shelby was:
1990 - 637
2000 - 696

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