Shelby County named for Isaac Shelby, who served as a general in the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the first governor of Kentucky.
Harlan was established as the Shelby County seat in 1859. The first courthouse was a frame building in the center of the square.
The second courthouse was a frame structure built in 1875.
The current courthouse, a three story stone and brick Romanesque structure designed by C. E. Bell, was built beginning in 1892. The tower was removed in 1899. The Shelby County courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Visit the Shelby County web site for more information.
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