Shelby County, Kentucky

Historical Marker #1238 recognizes Shelby County being named for Kentucky's first governor, Isaac Shelby, who was also a War of 1812 veteran.

Born in Maryland in 1850, Shelby fought in Lord Dunmore's War and the Revolutionary War. In 1780, he earned renown fighting at the Battle of King's Mountain. Three years later, he moved to Kentucky, where he took an active role in Kentucky's early constitutional conventions. On May 17, 1792, he was elected the commonwealth's first governor.

With national tensions growing against Great Britain immediately before the War of 1812, Shelby again ran for governor. With war expected, Shelby's previous military experience was an asset and he was elected. During the war, Shelby raised Kentuckians for the cause and even led them in the field. In one instance, Governor Shelby commanded soldiers at the American victory at the Battle of the Thames.

Once Shelby retired from politics he moved to his farm south of Danville. He died there in 1826 and was buried in a family cemetery on the property.