Shelby, Joseph Orville was born on December 12, 1830 in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. Son of Orville and Anna M. (Boswell) Shelby.
Studied Transylvania U., 1846-1849.
Founder, rope factory, Waverly, Missouri, 1852. Commissioned captain Confederate Army, 1861. Organizer cavalry brigade, 1862, became prominent cavalry commander, invaded Missouri each year, 1862-1864, held own against superior Union forces.
Brevetted brigadier general, 1864. Crossed border to Mexico, 1865, his men voted to support Maximilian, who gave Shelby land upon which colony named Charlotta was formed. Returned to Bates County, Missouri, circa 1867.
Appointed United States marshal for western district of Missouri by President Cleveland, 1893.