Located in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, Martin County lies in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. It is surrounded by Pike, Floyd, Johnson and Lawrence counties. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²), all of it land.
Martin County was named for Congressman John Preston Martin. Martin was born on October 11, 1811 near Jonesville. Martin served in the State House of Representatives from 1841 through 1843. Martin also served in the 29th United States Congress, the Kentucky State Senate and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
Inez is the county seat with a population of 466 in the 2000 census, and also includes the cities of Beauty, Job, Lovely, Laura, Pilgrim, Tomahawk and Warfield. The entire population for thecounty per the 2000 census was 12,578.
The school systems of Martin County include three elementary schools: Eden Elementary, Inez Elementary, and Warfield Elementary. There are two middle schools Warfield and Inez Middle schools as well as one high school, Sheldon Clark High School.
Even though Martin County has always been heavily dependent on natural resources such as coal, natural gas and timber to survive, many other family owned businesses have thrived in the community for years. The Big Sandy facility of the Federal Bureau of Prisons also employees hundreds of local residents.