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Martinsville is an independent city near the southern border of the US state of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was
13,821. It is the county seat of Henry County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the
city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.
Martinsville is the principal city of the Martinsville Micropolitan Statistical Area
Martinsville, in Henry County, was named for Joseph Martin, an early settler and revolutionary soldier who represented Henry County in the General Assembly in 1791, when the town was established.
County QuickFacts: City of Martinsville
Martinsville was founded by American Revolutionary War General Joseph Martin, who had an estate called Scuffle
Hill on the Smith River, on the present-day southern city limits. The city's main industry for a century was
furniture construction, and today Virginia furniture makers still reside in the region. Shortly after World War II,
DuPont built a chemical manufacturing plant. The booming chemical industry led to Martinsville declaring itself an
independent city in 1928, while still retaining its status as county seat.
DuPont later built a large manufacturing plant for producing nylon, a vital war material, which made the city a target for strategic bombing during the Cold War. This nylon production jump-started the growth of the textiles industry in the area. For several years Martinsville was known as the "Sweatshirt Capital of the World." In the early 1990s, changing global economic conditions and new trade treaties made Martinsville textiles and furniture manufacturing economically unsustainable. Many firms closed shop and laid off thousands of workers. Currently, the city is repositioning itself long-term as a center for technology development and manufacturing. Due to the local government's inability to fund certain services, in the near future the city of Martinsville may decide to legally convert into the town of Martinsville.
Martinsville, Virginia established in 1791. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
Martinsville, Virginia incorporated as a town in 1873. Established in 1791. Located in Henry County, Virginia and its county seat. Incorporated as a city in 1928. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28.5 km2), of
which, 11.0 square miles (28.4 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (0.45%) is water. The north
side of the city has the highest average elevation. The east side elevation slopes gradually down to the Smith River
on the south side. The west side is quite hilly, full of ups and downs.
Bordering counties are as follows: