Martinsville is an independent city near the southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 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, with a population of 73,346 as of the 2000 census.
The paper clip-shaped Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in the NASCAR Cup Series at 0.526 miles (847 m) and one of the first paved "speedways," is located just outside the city near the town of Ridgeway.
Martinsville was founded by American Revolutionary War General, Indian agent and explorer Joseph Martin, born in Albemarle County. He developed his plantation Scuffle Hill 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.