Dallas was settled in the 1840s on the north side of Rickreall Creek and was originally named “Cynthian” or “Cynthiana”. A 1947 Itemizer-Observer article (quoted in 100 Years in Polk County: A Centennial Background) states: “[T]he town was called Cynthiana after Cynthiana, Ky., so named by Mrs. Thos. Lovelady.” The History of Polk County Oregon, 1987, Page 12, states: “To Mrs. Thomas J. Lovelady was given the honor of naming the new settlement and she selected the name after her home town of Cynthiana, Kentucky.”
Another source claims that the origin of the name may come from the name ofJesse Applegate‘s wife, Cynthia Ann. However, she lived in the Salt Creek area of northern Polk County and, according to the 1850 Federal Census, had already left Polk County by 1850.
Dallas was in competition with Independence to be the county seat and the citizens of Dallas raised $17,000 in order to have a branch of the narrow gauge railroad come to their town, thus securing the honor. The line was built from 1878–80. A more suitable name for a county seat was needed, and sinceGeorge Mifflin Dallas was vice-president under James K. Polk, for whom the county was named, “Dallas” was a natural choice.
Dallas was incorporated as a town in 1874, and as a city in 1901.
Louis Gerlinger, Sr., incorporated the Salem, Falls City and Western Railway Company late in October 1901 and announced plans to build a railroad from the Willamette River at Salem to the mouth of the Siletz River on the Oregon Coast, a distance of 65 miles.
In 1902, Louis’s son George T. Gerlinger organized a group of investors to build railroad lines in the area.
On May 29, 1903, the first train ran from Dallas to Falls City. At the end of June, passenger trains began regularly scheduled trips to and from Dallas and Falls City each day; the nine-mile, forty-minute, one-way trip cost 35 cents.
Willamette Industries was founded in Dallas in 1906. At that time the company name was Willamette Valley Lumber Company.Louis Gerlinger, Sr. was president of the new company and H.L. Pittock, vice president. George T. Gerlinger served as secretary and manager while F.W. Leadbetter was treasurer. George Cone served as director and mill superintendent. In 1967 Willamette Valley Lumber and several others merged to become Willamette Industries.
Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife refuge totaling 2,492 acres, and home to many Dusky Canada Geese, which nest almost exclusively in the Willamette Valley. Baskett Slough is located on Highway 22, just outside of Dallas, though it has a Dallas address. “A small number of Bald Eagles winter on the refuge. In addition to the abundant bird life, 30 species of mammals, 8 species of amphibians, and 10 species of reptiles occur here. The largest remaining population of Fender’s blue butterfly is found on the refuge.”
There is also an indoor aquatic center, housing a water slide, relaxation tub, current pool, and toddler pool.
As of the census of 2010, there were 14,583 people. The population density was 3,031.8 people per square mile (1,170.4/km²). There were 6,137 housing units at an average density of 1,275.9 per square mile (492.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.31% White, 0.23% African American, 2.03% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 1.61% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races.Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.95% of the population.
In 2000, there were 4,672 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.02.
In 2000, the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
The median income in 2000 for a household in the city was $35,967, and the median income for a family was $45,156. Males had a median income of $34,271 versus $22,941 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,734. About 7.8% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.
The Polk County Itemizer-Observer is a weekly newspaper published in Dallas since 1875.
Dallas Real Estate Listings
Active Listings in Dallas
- 1032 SE Miller Av Dallas, OR 97338
Dallas School Data
- Lyle Elementary School
- K-3, public
- Oakdale Heights Elementary School
- K-3, public
- Whitworth Elementary School
- 4-5, public
- Lacreole Middle School
- 6-8, public
- Dallas High School
- 9-12, public
- Polk Adtc
- PK-12, public
- Faith Christian School
- PK-8, private
- Morrison Campus Alternative Program
- 11-12, public
- Luckiamute Valley Charter School
- K-7, public
- Family Christian School
- K-12, private
Posted on October 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm by Joni McClintock