Martinsville, Virginia: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martinsville,Virginia
—  City  —

Seal
Coordinates: 36°41′10″N 79°52′9″W / 36.68611°N 79.86917°W / 36.68611; -79.86917
Country United States
State Virginia
Government
 - Mayor Kathy Lawson
Area
 - Total 11.0 sq mi (28.5 km2)
 - Land 11.0 sq mi (28.4 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 1,017 ft (310 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 15,416
 Density 1,406.6/sq mi (543.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 24112-24115
Area code(s) 276
FIPS code 51-49784[1]
GNIS feature ID 1498514[2]
Website http://www.martinsville-va.gov
Home of Henry Clay Lester, early tobacco manufacturer, Main Street, Martinsville. Home burned in the early 1940s
Henry County Courthouse Square, Martinsville, circa 1890.

Martinsville is an independent city surrounded by the county seat of Henry County, Virginia, United States.[3] The population was 15,416 at the 2000 census. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes. The paper clip-shaped Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in NASCAR stock car racing [0.526 miles (0.847 km)] and also one of the first paved "speedways", being built in 1947, is located just outside the city in the town of Ridgeway.

Martinsville is the principal city of the Martinsville Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Henry County and the city of Martinsville.[4] The micropolitan area had a combined population of 73,346 as of the 2000 census.[1]

Contents

History

Martinsville was founded by American Revolutionary War General, Indian agent and explorer Joseph Martin, born in Albemarle County,[5] whose plantation Scuffle Hill was located on the banks of the Smith River near the present-day southern city limits. General Martin and revolutionary patriot Patrick Henry, who lived briefly in Henry County and for whom the county is named, were good friends.

The city's chief industry for many early years was the manufacture of plug chewing tobacco. The Henry County area became known as the 'plug tobacco capital of the world.' In the wake of the collapse of the plantation economy following the American Civil War, the local economy had been left reeling. Stepping into the breach were several thriving plug firms which sold their merchandise across the nation beginning in the nineteenth century.

Local families were heavily involved in these companies, bestowing their names on them and reaping sizeable profits until the early twentieth century, when the tobacco monopolies created by R.J. Reynolds and James Buchanan Duke bought out most firms. (In most cases, in bold anti-competitive moves, the two tobacco titans simply shut down their acquisitions overnight.[6] The moves later prompted a U.S. government lawsuit against American Tobacco Company.[7]) Among the earliest of these firms were D.H. Spencer & Sons and Spencer Bros. Other families soon joined in founding other early firms, including the Gravelys, the Comptons, the Ruckers, the Wittens, the Lesters and the Browns.

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.[8] 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.

Recently, MZM, Inc. opened a facility in Martinsville as part of the Cunningham scandal.

The lone high school within the Martinsville City School District is Martinsville High School which averages about 900 students. Its mascot is the bulldog and the school colors are red and white. The school's varsity boys' basketball team competes in Group AA of the Virginia High School League and won its most recent state championship in March 2006. This victory makes Martinsville High the only high school in the Commonwealth to win 13 state titles. The high school has the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, along with the highest STD rate. This caused the high school to make contraceptives available in school. The Martinsville City Public Schools system has 1 high school, 1 middle school, 2 elementary schools, and 1 preschool.

Additionally, there is a private PS-12 school near Martinsville in Henry County, Carlisle School. The school serves approximately 600 students, about 130 of them high school students.

Martinsville is also home to the Virginia Museum of Natural History, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and founded by Martinsville native Dr. Noel Boaz, and Piedmont Arts Association, an affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Staff of Draper's Barber Shop, Franklin Street, Martinsville, 1920. White bowls on floor are spittoons

Memorial Hospital of Martinsville serves the greater Martinsville and Henry County area. The earliest local hospital was the 50-bed Shackelford Hospital[9], founded by Dr. Jesse Martin Shackelford[10], who was later joined by surgeon son Dr. John Armstrong Shackelford, an early graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine[11]. Founder of the Hospital Association of Virginia, Dr. Jesse Shackelford was an early advocate of comprehensive care for state citizens. Shackelford Hospital was sold in 1946, and Martinsville General Hospital subsequently opened with Dr. John Shackelford as its first chief surgeon.[12] In 1970 Memorial Hospital of Martinsville opened its doors, replacing Martinsville General.

Geography

According to the United States 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.

Demographics

Oak Hall, home of Col. Pannill Rucker, early Martinsville tobacco manufacturer. Oak Hall burned 19 February 1917

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 15,416 people, 6,498 households, and 4,022 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.1 people per square mile (543.1/km²). There were 7,249 housing units at an average density of 661.7/sq mi (255.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.38% White, 42.55% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.69% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.32% of the population.

There were 6,498 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.

The age distribution was 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 82.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,441, and the median income for a family was $35,321. Males had a median income of $28,530 versus $21,367 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,251. About 14.0% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.6% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over.

Pannill Knitting Company, early Martinsville textile concern founded in 1926

Culture

Advertisements

Sports

Martinsville is home to the Martinsville Mustangs of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Mustangs play at Hooker Field in Martinsville. The Mustangs began play for the league's 2005 season. Martinsville High School's boys' basketball team has won more state titles (13) than any other boys program in Virginia, regardless of size or classification.

Notable residents

Class of 1912, Martinsville High School

Rabih Abdullah - National Football League player

Reverend Alfred W. Anson - rector, Christ Episcopal Church, 1894-1920[13]
Buddy Arrington - NASCAR driver
Baton Bob - Costumed street performer
John Robert Brown (Virginia politician) - US House of Representatives
Johnny Bryant - Drummer for Ray Charles band
Thomas G. Burch - American farmer, tobacco manufacturer, and politician (US House of Representatives and US Senate)
Mel L. Cartwright, Sr. - Well-known and highly successful high school basketball coach for Martinsville, Magna Vista and Carlisle Schools, Assistant Coach for University of Maryland, long-time teacher, administrator
Greg Gaines - National Football League player
Carl Hairston - National Football League player
Patrick Henry - American patriot (resided at Leatherwood Plantation, Henry County, outside current city limits)
Odell Hodge - collegiate basketball player for Old Dominion University (1993-97)
Magdalen Hsu-Li - Bisexual American singer-songwriter, painter, speaker, poet, and activist
Randy Hundley - Major League Baseball player
Todd Hundley - Major League Baseball player
J. C. Martin - Major League Baseball player
General Joseph Martin - American Revolutionary War general, explorer, legislator, Indian agent
Patrick Mills (Health and Physical Education Teacher) Barry Michaels - American radio personality
Ed Reynolds- National Football League- New England Patriots/> Jesse Penn- National Football League- Dallas Cowboys/> Shawn Moore - National Football League and Canadian Football League player Stephen Mark Rainey - Author of novels, short stories, and various works of nonfiction
Nancy Redd - Miss Virginia 2003, Top 10 in Miss America 2004
Dr. John Armstrong Shackelford - surgeon, Shackelford Hospital, chief surgeon, Martinsville General Hospital

Shackelford Hospital, founded by Dr. Jesse Martin Shackelford, predecessor of Martinsville Memorial Hospital

Dr. Jesse Martin Shackelford - surgeon, founder, Shackelford Hospital
Sonny Wade - Canadian Football League player
Stafford G. Whittle - Judge, Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Kennon C. Whittle - Judge, Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Lou Whitaker - Major League Baseball player
Red Top Young - Blues, rhythm and blues, country, rock & roll, and jazz musician
Clarence Kearfott "Bogator" Mason - Print news distributor and philosopher
Delvin Joyce - National Football League- NY Giants New York Giants Football Player
Clinton Gregory Country Singer and Fiddle Player
Giles Carter Greer Circuit Judge for Martinsville City
M. Paul Redd, Sr., Publisher and Activist

References

External links

Coordinates: 36°41′10″N 79°52′09″W / 36.686143°N 79.869171°W / 36.686143; -79.869171


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message