Jan. 8, 1814 Mecklenburg County North Carolina, USA
Dec. 4, 1889 LaRue Henderson County Texas, USA
Headstone reads: "Sacred to the memory of Jas. M. Shelby born January 8, 1814 died December 4, 1889. Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Isreal IISamIII:38."
The story is that Joseph Shelby, the younger brother of James Madison Shelby, went to Alabama first. He acquired quite a bit of land but, unfortunately, died unmarried at the age of 30 and left his estate to his brothers. That is why they all migrated to Alabama in about 1847 where they lived in Perry County. After the Civil War, James Madison Shelby, his wife and children (with the exception of his eldest son, James Adams, who had recently married and chose to remain in Alabama) migrated to Texas in a caravan of five covered wagons. Three of them belonged to J.M. Shelby. They left Selma, Dallas County, Alabama in the fall of 1869 and settled near Tyler, Smith County, Texas. His sister, Elinor Selina (Shelby) Henderson and her family were also part of the caravan. In Tyler he was prominent in church affairs and was a deacon and charter member of the first Presbyterian church of Tyler.
Athens Daily-Weekly Review, Wednesday, July 4, 1979. "Yesteryears" by Estelle Corder. "Shelbys of Shelby Chapel." :
"James Madison Shelby and his wife Amanda Ann (Henderson) with their children left Perry County, Ala., after the Civil War. The Shelbys lived in Smith County, Texas, from 1869 until the time they moved to the vicinity of Morrison Chapel (later, LaRue).
"The Shelbys were active in Presbyterian church affairs and helped organize the First Presbyterian Church in Tyler. There were eight charter members, five of whom were members of the James Madison Shelby family. . .
"The Shelbys left Tyler in 1880 and bought land in Henderson County about 12 miles east of Athens. (according to Mrs. Mattie Dean of Athens, the Shelbys lived on the farm that Ben Curtis farmed many years, and T.H. Gracey lives on tis farm today.) It is not proven whether the Shelbys donated the land for the Morrison chapel and the present day cemetery, but the cemetery does border the Shelby land on the north.
"Some members of the Shelby family believe the Presbyterian church was organized at Morrison Chapel when the Shelbys, Horns and Dunklins moved into the area. . . .
"The James M. Shelbys continued to live near Morrison Chapel until after the death of Shelby on Dec. 4, 1889.