Shelbyville is a city in Bedford County, Tennessee, United States. It had a local population of 16,105 residents at the 2000 census. Shelbyville, the county seat of Bedford County, was laid out in 1810 and incorporated in 1819. The town is a hub of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.5 square miles (40 km2), all land.
Shelbyville is known as "The Pencil City" because of its historical importance as a center of wood-cased pencil manufacturing. It is still a site for manufacture of writing instruments. In 1982, National Pen Corporation purchased its largest competitor, U.S. Pencil and Stationery Company. Sanford Corporation produces the Sharpie, the World’s largest selling writing instrument, in the city. It was in Shelbyville in 1991 that the world's longest pencil was produced, a plastic-cased pencil 1,091 feet (333 m) long, weighing 27 pounds (12 kg). Other major business operations in Shelbyville include manufacturers Calsonic Kansei, Bemis Custom Products, Cebal America, and Jostens; it is also home to a Tyson Foods facility and a distribution center for Wal-Mart.
The Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville is one of 46 institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System, the seventh largest system of higher education in the nation. This system comprises six universities, fourteen community colleges, and twenty-six technology centers. More than 80 percent of all Tennessee students attending public institutions are enrolled in a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.
Shelbyville is at the intersection of U.S. Route 231 and U.S. Route 41. It was the terminus of a branch line (from Wartrace), located along what is now known as Railroad Avenue, connecting with what was once known as the Saint Louis, Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.