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: “The 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. Lovelday 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 do 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 town in 1874, and as a city in 1901.
Today, located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Dallas is the heart of it all. Just 13 miles west of Salem, close to the coast, and an easy drive from beautiful vineyards and wineries, we think you’ll find just what you are looking for in Dallas.
Dallas has many treasures, with many beautiful city parks, the Aquatic Center, and small town charm. A short drive away is the 2,500 acre Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, the Black Rock trail system – Oregon’s first free ride area for mountain biking, and award-winning wines.
Not only family friendly, Dallas is business-friendly too. With sites from 1 to over 20 acres, with access to highways and rail service, Dallas is ready for employers and can offer incentive packages, streamlined permitting, friendly community, and a supportive business environment.
Dallas is truly a hometown gem!