Shelbyville People: Speedway Drivers, Actors, and Record Holders

Shelbyville, Indiana is a small town to the southwest of Indianapolis. Not really known for its size or cultural influence, this Indiana town is nevertheless the birthplace or hometown of several famous people. Notable residents of Shelbyville are scattered across all sorts of professions, from Indianapolis sports stars to political figures and world record holders.

Below is a short list of notable residents from Shelbyville:

Sandy Allen – Sandy Allen is the current holder of the Guinness Book of World Record’s title for the World’s Tallest Woman. Through a defect in her pituitary gland, Sandy Allen grew to a height of 7′ 7 1/4″.  At the time of her death at the age of 53, she was the tallest living woman in the world
Mayor Scott Furgeson – Formerly the manager of Cagney’s, Scott Furgeson is the current Mayor of Shelbyville, Indiana. A longtime Republican and Hoosier.
Bill Garrett – Bill Garret was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 1947, the year Shelbyville High School won the state championship. Later, he was the first African American on Indiana University‘s basketball team and the first to be a starter on any Big Ten Indiana college team. Later, he was an assistant dean at Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI).
Thomas Hendricks – Thomas Hendricks was the 21st Vice President of the United States and a governor, senator, and representative for Indiana. He was the vice president in 1884 and the governor in 1872. Hendricks is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.
Charles Major – Born in Indianapolis, Charles Major was a resident of Shelbyville and an influential writer in the early 20th century. Author of When Knighthood Was in Flower, A Forest Hearth, and The Touchstone of Fortune, among others, Major saw many of his novels adapted into Broadway plays and films. Charles Major also wrote The Bears of Blue River, the namesake for the popular Shelbyville event.
Edna Parker – Edna Parker was the world’s oldest living woman until her death in November of 2008. Edna was born in 1893 and died at the age of 115 in a nursing home in Shelbyville, where she lived with another famous Shelbyville resident, Sandy Allen.
James Pierce – James Pierce is an actor from Shelbyville, Indiana. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Tarzan in Tarzan and the Golden Lion. In addition, he and his wife played Tarzan and Jane in many radio shows and other adaptations.
Wilbur Shaw – A historic Indianapolis sports figure, Wilbur Shaw is a three time winner of the Indianapolis 500. In addition, he was also the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1945 until his death in 1954.
Jeff Smulyan – A native of Shelbyville and now internationally-recognized media entrepreneur, Jeffrey H. Smulyan is the force behind Emmis Communications Corp., one of the most powerful media groups in the country.
Mike Phipps – Playing during Purdue’s glory days of the 1960’s, Mike Phipps was the focal point of the offense of the Boilermakers, one of the top teams in the country during Phipps’ college career. Now a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Mike Phipps has earned his spot as one of the top quarterbacks to come from the Cradle of Quarterbacks.

Shelbyville People

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