Shelby, originally named "Arcade," was established in
1880. In the winter of 1880-81 postal authorities objected to the
name Arcade due to confusion with the town of Arcadia in Loup
County. In search of a new name for the settlement, the people chose
Shelby, after the name of an official with the Omaha and Republican
Valley Railroad (a branch of the Union Pacific).
The land which Arcade was established
on was owned by Gilbert Van Vorce and Peter Matter. Seeing a need
for a trade center in the area these two men gave the railroad
company half interest in their property and the town was
established. After the railroad retained their 200 feet on each side
and closest to the tracks, eight blocks were located on each side
parallel to the tracks. The original streets are still present and
retain the names of Walnut, Elm, Chestnut, Pine, Cherry, and Oak.
In 1880 the town of Arcade boasted a
population of 93 with businesses to include a drug store, hardware
store, hotel, boot and shoe shop, livery stable, and physician.