Martinsville is a city in Washington Township, Morgan County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 11,828 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is the county seat of Morgan County.
|City of Martinsville|
"Goldfish Capital of the World"
Location of Martinsville in Morgan County, Indiana
|• Mayor||Shannon Kohl (R)|
|• Total||4.55 sq mi (11.78 km2)|
|• Land||4.53 sq mi (11.73 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2) 0.44%|
|Elevation||604 ft (184 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,576.51/sq mi (994.80/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||438684|
The Morgan County Courthouse, completed in 1859, features a red brick and Italianate design, and is one of the few pre-Civil War courthouses in Indiana. Architect Isaac Hodgson designed the courthouse, and it was built by Perry Magnus Blankenship. Hodgson designed six Indiana courthouses including Jennings County Courthouse (1859), Morgan County (1857), Henry County Courthouse, Bartholomew County Courthouse (1871), and his largest in Marion County, in Indianapolis.
In 1899, Eugene Shireman, a Martinsville entrepreneur, turned his swamp land into fisheries and started Grassyfork Fisheries. Once dubbed the "Goldfish Capital of the World", today Martinsville has several large fisheries that sell fish to many parts of the world. Shireman's actions changed the landscape of the Martinsville area, and his fisheries can be seen today throughout Shireman subdivision. Martinsville is also home to other fisheries.
From 1888 until 1968, visitors sought out the Martinsville's sanitaria for health benefits from their artesian mineral water. Over nearly 100 years, almost a dozen sanitaria were in operation for various periods of time, including the first black spa in Martinsville.
Albert Merritt (1871–1958), founder of the Boys' Club in Martinsville, born near Bowling Green, was the son of freedmen. He came to Martinsville Mineral Springs Sanitarium in the 1890s from a job as a porter at the Sennings Hotel in Louisville, and lived at the sanitarium for the rest of his life, never marrying. He worked with the children of Martinsville for fifty years, building a clubhouse on North Marion Street. Merritt Park on the northwest end of town is named for Albert.
Visitors would travel by rail and road to bathe and refresh in the mineral springs and waters. Many luminaries visited Martinsville in the early 20th century to enjoy the mineral waters and spas for their perceived therapeutic and restorative qualities. In 1892, the Old Hickory Furniture Company was formed. The Morgan County Public Library’s Digital Archive has a collection of photographs of Old Hickory furniture including some displays for Marshall Field & Co.
In recent years, Martinsville has an array of different businesses, with the courthouse square and downtown area being host to a number of locally owned restaurants, bakeries, and shops, and areas like the Grand Valley Shopping Center and Artesian Square being host to a number of restaurant chains and retail shops. In 2014, a local judge upheld an effort by the city to annex sufficient land to increase the size of the city by a third, making I-69 the frontage road for the city.
Historically, Martinsville was the place of some racial controversies, such as the 1968 murder of 20-year-old African American Carol Jenkins, who was stabbed to death with a screwdriver while selling encyclopedias door-to-door. Jenkins' murder remained unsolved for 33 years until Kenneth Richmond was arrested for the crime. Richmond was a Hendricks County resident who was passing through Martinsville on the night Jenkins was murdered. The white couple Don and Norma Neal, who called the police to try to help Carol a half-hour before she died, proposed a monument in Carol's memory on the courthouse grounds. The County declined to place a monument on that location at that time. In November 2017, Martinsville partnered with Carol's hometown of Rushville to hold memorial events in Carol's honor with her family present. Martinsville also dedicated a monument in Carol's memory and presented a smaller replica of the stone to Carol's family. That year, the Indianapolis Star reported that Martinsville still had a reputation among African Americans as a sundown town.
Martinsville disputes its reputation for racism and prejudice with many residents claiming they welcome people from all races, sexual orientations, and religions. The high school's LGBTQ club was the highest charter in 2015, and town leaders have approved anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT people.
Martinsville is located at (39.423339, -86.423779).
According to the 2010 census, Martinsville has a total area of 4.508 square miles (11.68 km2), of which 4.49 square miles (11.63 km2) (or 99.6%) is land and 0.018 square miles (0.05 km2) (or 0.4%) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally cool to cold winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Martinsville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,828 people, 4,610 households, and 2,990 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,634.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,017.1/km2). There were 5,073 housing units at an average density of 1,129.8 per square mile (436.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.5% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 4,610 households of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.1% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.03.
The median age in the city was 36.6 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.8% were from 25 to 44; 24.4% were from 45 to 64; and 14.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,698 people, 4,621 households, and 3,086 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,620.6 people per square mile (1,012.7/km²). There were 4,880 housing units at an average density of 1,093.2 per square mile (422.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.62% White, 0.01% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.00% of the population.
There were 4,621 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,746, and the median income for a family was $40,304. Males had a median income of $31,215 versus $22,090 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,664. About 8.7% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 16.4% of those age 65 or over.
The Metropolitan School District of Martinsville administers the public schools of Martinsville. Elementary schools include Brooklyn Elementary, Centerton Elementary, Green Township Elementary, Paragon Elementary, Poston Road Elementary, Smith Elementary, and South Elementary. 5th and 6th grades go to Bell Intermediate Academy, while grades 7th and 8th attend John R. Wooden Middle School. Grades 9th through 12th go to Martinsville High School. There is also Hammons off-campus community school. Martinsville has one private school, Tabernacle Christian School, which has classes for preschool through twelfth grade.
- Emmett Forrest Branch, 31st Governor of Indiana
- Richard Bray, Indiana State Senator
- Benjamin Bull, lawyer and Wisconsin State Senator
- Glenn M. Curtis, basketball coach
- Charles E. Ford, newsreel and motion picture director
- Ira Hall, Indy car driver
- John Hancock, former Dean of Engineering and Interim President, Purdue University, Communications Team Apollo Mission series
- Bobby Helms, singer/songwriter who had six gold records including "Jingle Bell Rock"
- Joe W. Kelly, United States Air Force four-star general
- Jeff Kottkamp, lieutenant governor of Florida (2007–2011)
- Paul V. McNutt, 34th governor of Indiana
- Mel Payton, former professional basketball player
- Catt Sadler, E! News anchor
- Jerry Sichting, former professional basketball player
- John R. Walsh, U.S. Congressman and Secretary of State of Indiana (1958–1960)
- Kevin A. Toole, former professional football player
- John C. Wetherby, recipient of the Medal of Honor
- John Wooden, Naismith Hall of Fame college basketball player and coach
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- Grassyfork Fisheries
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- Photographs of the sanitaria
- Old Hickory
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Hawkins, Ronald (January 17, 2014). "Judge OKs Martinsville annexation, which would make I-69 frontage road to city". Indiana Economic Digest.
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- King, Robert (April 2, 2017). "They're bridging a racial divide". The Sunday Star. p. 6A – via Newspapers.com.
The deputy, D.J. Nuetzmann, grew up in Martinsville, a town with a tragic reputation for racism, a place many blacks still consider a 'sundown town' where it's best not to be caught after dark.
- "'We need to acknowledge it': Martinsville tries to remake its racist image". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
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- "Morgan County Fair".
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