Henry County
Official seal of Henry County
Map of Virginia highlighting Henry County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°40′N 79°53′W / 36.67°N 79.88°W / 36.67; -79.88
Country United States
State Virginia
Named forPatrick Henry
Largest townRidgeway
 • Total384 sq mi (990 km2)
 • Land382 sq mi (990 km2)
 • Water2 sq mi (5 km2)  0.5%
 • Estimate 
 • Density135/sq mi (52/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts5th, 9th
Virginia state historical marker for Henry County

Henry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 54,151.[1] The county seat is usually identified as Martinsville;[2] however, the administration building (where county offices are located and where the board of supervisors holds meetings) and county courthouse are located in Collinsville.

Henry County is part of the Martinsville, VA Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Major John Redd, Continental Army, pioneer settler of Henry County

The county was established in 1777 when it was carved from Pittsylvania County. The new county was initially named Patrick Henry County in honor of Patrick Henry, who was then serving as the first Governor of Virginia after independence. Living on his 10,000-acre (40 km2) plantation called Leatherwood (for Leatherwood Creek), Gov. Henry was a sometime resident of the county, where he had relatives already settled.[3][4][5]

In 1785 the northern part of Patrick Henry County was combined with part of Bedford County to form Franklin County. In 1790, Patrick Henry County was split into two counties, the western part becoming Patrick County and the rest becoming Henry County.

Other notable early settlers of Henry County include Colonel George Waller,[6] Captain George Hairston and Major John Redd,[7] all of whom were present at the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown; Col. Abram Penn, a native of Amherst County, Virginia, who led his Henry County militia troops with the intention of joining General Nathanael Greene at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War;[8] and Brigadier General Joseph Martin, for whom Martinsville is named.[9] Also prominent were Mordecai Hord, a native of Louisa County and prominent early explorer, who lived on his plantation called Hordsville;[10] and Col. John Dillard, born in Amherst County, Virginia in 1751, wounded at the Battle of Princeton during the Revolution, and later a member of the Committee of Safety and a colonel in the Virginia forces. Captain Robert Hairston, a noted politician in the Colony of Virginia before the revolution, and the owner of Marrowbone plantation, was also a commander of a company of Henry county militia and served as the first high sheriff of Henry County.

During the War of 1812, the 64th Virginia Militia, under Captain Graves, was formed in 1815 from Henry County. Within its ranks were also Privates Alexander Hunter Bassett, who would later work large tobacco production plantations in the county, and Wyatt Jarrett. "Tavner Hailey was born in Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia in 1793. He was an early pioneer in Tennessee and served in the War of 1812. He was 1st Cpl. in Captain Brice Edward's Company, 64th Regiment, Virginia Militia."[11] Benjamin Dyer was a lieutenant, then later a captain, of the 5th company of the 64th Virginia Militia.

During the Civil War, the 42nd Virginia Infantry was formed in part from Henry County volunteers.

In 1902, the Henry County Historical Society was incorporated at Martinsville with its first officers being John W. Carter, J. Harrison Spencer and C. B. Bryant.[12]

In 1902, John D. Bassett formed the Bassett Furniture Company, one of the largest furniture manufacturing businesses in the world by 1968. Henry County was part of the furniture manufacturing complex of western North Carolina prior to the advent of free trade agreements which made import of furniture manufactured in low-wage Asian markets much more profitable.[13]


Greenwood, built by Col. Joseph Martin, son of General Joseph Martin, namesake of Martinsville, at Axton, Henry County, 1808–1810

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 384 square miles (990 km2), of which 382 square miles (990 km2) is land and 2 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.5%) is water.[14]


The county is divided into six supervisor districts: Blackberry, Collinsville, Horsepasture, Iriswood, Reed Creek, and Ridgeway.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Historical population
2015 (est.)51,881[15]−4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790-1960[17] 1900-1990[18]
1990-2000[19] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 57,930 people, 23,910 households, and 16,952 families residing in the county. The population density was 152 people per square mile (58/km²). There were 25,921 housing units at an average density of 68 per square mile (26/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.47% White, 10% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.39% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. 3.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 23,910 households out of which 28.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.30% were married couples living together, 12.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.30% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,816, and the median income for a family was $38,649. Males had a median income of $26,660 versus $20,766 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,110. About 8.80% of families and 11.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.20% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.


View of the Smith River from bridge at Fieldale, Henry County

Board of supervisors

Blackberry District: Jimmie L. "Jim" Adams (I)

Collinsville District: Joseph A. "Joe" Bryant (I)

Horsepasture District: Debra Parsons Buchanan (I)

Iriswood District: Milton H. Kendall (I)

Reed Creek District: T.J. "Tommy" Slaughter (I)

Ridgeway District: H.G. Vaughn (I)

Constitutional officers

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Vickie Stone Helmstutler (I)

Commissioner of the Revenue: Linda N. Love (I)

Commonwealth's Attorney: Andrew Nester (I)

Sheriff: Lane A. Perry (I)

Treasurer: Scott B. Grindstaff (I)

Henry is represented by Republican William M. "Bill" Stanley in the Virginia Senate, Republicans Charles D. Poindexter, D.W. "Danny" Marshall, III, and Donald W. Merricks in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republicans Robert J. Hurt and H. Morgan Griffith in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Virginia state historic marker for plantation of Patrick Henry, county's namesake, Leatherwood, Henry County

As an independent city since 1928, Martinsville is not part of Henry County, but exists as an enclave, surrounded by the county.


Unincorporated communities

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ Places Associated with Patrick Henry, virginiaplaces.org
  4. ^ National Register of Historic Places Form, dhr.virginia.gov
  5. ^ History, Martinsville and Henry County, Virginia, martinsville.com
  6. ^ A native of Stafford County, Virginia, George Waller lived on his plantation at what was once known as Waller's Ford, today's Fieldale. He was married to Ann Winston (Carr) Waller, first cousin of Patrick Henry. Col. Waller's wife's sister was married to Col. Mordecai Hord. [1] Col. George Waller's daughter, Mary Winston Carr Waller, married Major John Redd of the Continental Army.
  7. ^ General Joseph Martin, by John Redd, Publications of the Southern History Association, Vol. VII, No. 1, January 1903, Washington, D.C.
  8. ^ Lord Dunmore's Little War of 1774, Warren Skidmore, Donna Kaminsky, Heritage Books, 2002
  9. ^ Henry County, The Carolina Road, virginia.org
  10. ^ Thomas Hord, Gentleman, Arnold Harris Hord, Thomas Hord, Philadelphia, 1903
  11. ^ Hailey Family
  12. ^ Acts and Joint Resolutions , Passed by the General Assembly, of the State of Virginia, During the Session of 1901–2, J. H. O'Hannon, Superintendent of Public Printing, Richmond, 1902
  13. ^ Beth Macy (June 25, 2015). "Who's Speaking Up for the American Worker?" (Op-ed). The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  15. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  18. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.

36°40′N 79°53′W / 36.67°N 79.88°W / 36.67; -79.88