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Dallas Fun Facts!

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 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 have been Jesse 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 post office was established in 1852. In 1856, the town was moved more than a mile south because of an inadequate supply of water.

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 since George 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.


A few fun facts about Dallas!

1. Johnnie Ray, an extremely talented musician from the late 40's - early 50's, was born in Dallas in 1927. Read all about him here: https://www.exploredallasoregon.org/johnnie-ray

2. In 1986 a movie called "Promise" was filmed partially here in Dallas. It starred James Garner, James Woods and Piper Laurie.

3. The Polk County Courthouse, built in 1898, is the second courthouse. The first was burned was destroyed during a fire the year before, along with much of Main Street.

4. Mark Hatfield, Oregon State Governor, was born in Dallas in 1922.

5. In 1880, the population of Dallas was 600.

6. The first telephone service in Dallas began in 1892

7. In 1903 The first train ran from Dallas to Falls City. The cost was 35 cents, one way, to ride and took forty-five minutes to ride nine miles.

8. Mayor Gwen Van Den Bosch (Dallas’ only female Mayor) held office in 1978.

9. Blue Garden closes its doors in 2000 only to finally reopen again in 2019.

10. 2008, major snow and freezing rain closes Dallas City Park.

Visit www.exploredallasoregon.org/history for photos and more information!


Johnnie Ray: Dallas' most famous musician!

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