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Migrating north from American Fork, Utah, John F. Shelley became the town’s founding resident in 1884. He was soon joined by a string of other Mormon believers, and within no time, Shelley was serving as the community’s Mormon bishop, first postmaster, and first businessman. When the Union Pacific Railroad set up shop, railroad officials honored the founding father’s contributions by christening the town with his name.

Since its founding days, Shelley has relied upon the agricultural industry for sustenance. Although potatoes now represent the area’s primary crop, the planting and harvesting of sugar beets initiated the area’s farming boom.

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