About Our Community
Shelbyville is located at the junction of Farm Road 417 and State Highway 87, seven miles southeast of Center in east central Shelby County. The area was settled in the 1820s by people who came from Tennessee, and the community was originally called Nashville. The community was the county seat of Shelby County. The Congress of the Republic of Texas changed its name to Shelbyville in 1837, for Isaac Shelby of Tennessee. Shelbyville was the scene of the beginning of the Regulator-Moderator War, and most of the major battles of the feud were fought in its vicinity. The town had a Republic of Texas post office established by 1843. In 1866 the county records were moved to the center of the county by night and hidden there. This led to a new county-seat designation that same year. In 1884 Shelbyville had a church, a school, a mill, two gins, and a population estimated at 150.
About Our School District
Located in the Piney Woods of East Texas, the Shelbyville Independent School District provides high quality educational services for approximately 750 students in grades Pre-K through 12. Designated as a single campus district, Shelbyville I.S.D. offers a wide array of educational programs and participates in District 1A Division 1 athletic and academic competition. Nestled in the heart of the Sabine National Forest with Toledo Bend Reservoir serving as an eastern border, Shelbyville, Texas is rich in recreational activities and historical heritage. Welcome to our community, school, and web site!
The earliest data available was provided by Mrs. Norma Stack of Center. According to Mrs. Stack, her grandfather, Professor W.C. Huntington, 1825-1884, and his wife Mary s. Huntington, 1837-1911, had charge of the Shelbyville School in 1868.
The school at this time may have been a prep-type school with boarders. Reportedly, a little building to the right of the Huntington home, known as "the library," was where the teaching was accomplished. Mary Huntington continued the school after her husband died in 1884, probably until 1888.
In about 1888, M.M. Dupre moved to East Texas from Sarepta, Mississippi to assume the position of superintendent of schools in Shelbyville. According to some older Shelbyville residents, the school was located near the Shelbyville Methodist Church in a two-story building. This list of trustees was found in J.B. Sander’s book, History of Early Shelby County, Texas Schools: 1893-94 – W.D. Ellington, William Beck, and J. Lee Crawford; 1894-95 – C.N. Wilson, L.N. Crawford, and R.P. Windham; and 1895-96 – R.P. Windham, Dick McWilliams, and Haywood Booth.
Until 1903, the schools in Shelbyville were called common schools and were under the control of the Shelby County School Superintendent.
In February of 1903, W.D. Ellington petitioned the commissioner’s court for an election to establish a free school and an independent school district. The election, held in March of 1903, carried in favor of the independent school, and in June 1903, Shelbyville Independent School District was officially established. At that time, W.C. Hurst was superintendent of the school.
The school buildings have undergone many changes through the years. In 1924, the school was known as the "Little White Schoolhouse" which was located near the Shelbyville Methodist Church. In 1927, the land across the road was purchased and the school moved to its current location. Frank Pigg built the original brick high school building in 1927. In 1938 or 1939 (some sources state 1937) the W.P.A. built the Rock Building and the old wooden gym which burned in 1971. In 1954, the section of the school plant known as the "Haley Building" was built and later dedicated in memory of Reeves Haley who had taught and served as superintendent of schools for many years.