Dallas is a city and the county seat of Polk County, Oregon, United States. The population was 16,854 at the 2020 census.
Dallas is along Rickreall Creek, about west of Salem, at an elevation of above sea level. It is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Pioneers in the 1840s started the settlement that became known as Dallas on the north side of Rickreall Creek. It 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." According to the county historical society in 1987, Mrs. Thomas J. Lovelady named the new settlement after her home town of Cynthiana, Kentucky.
Another source claims that Cynthia Ann, wife of early pioneer Jesse Applegate, named the settlement. But they lived in the Salt Creek area of northern Polk County and, according to the 1850 Federal Census, she was not living in Polk County then.
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.
Cynthiana competed with Independence to be selected as the county seat. Its residents raised $17,000 in order to have a branch of the narrow gauge railroad constructed to their town, which secured them the honor and related economic stimulus. The line was built from 1878–80. Town leaders believed a more sturdy sounding name was needed for a county seat. Since George Mifflin Dallas was vice-president under James K. Polk, for whom the county was named, they named it "Dallas".
Dallas was incorporated as a town in 1874 and as a city in 1901.
After Louis Gerlinger, Sr. incorporated the Salem, Falls City and Western Railway Company late in October 1901, he 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 .
In 1902, Louis's son George T. Gerlinger organized a group of investors to build related 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, daily trips to and from Dallas and Falls City; the , 40-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, and 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.
In the early 21st century, this and other local businesses were taken over by others from outside, which eventually affected the local economy. In March 2002, Willamette Industries was officially acquired by Weyerhaeuser Company in a hostile takeover. In early 2009, Weyerhaeuser's Mill formally closed the Dallas operation. Similarly, Gerlinger Carrier Company in Dallas was taken over by Towmotor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land.
Dallas has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) with warm to very warm, dry summers with cool mornings, and cold, rainy winters. Occasionally frigid weather will reach the Willamette Valley due to very cold continental air from Canada being driven over the Cascades by a low-pressure system to the south, as occurred repeatedly in January 1950 when temperatures reached as low as on the 31st and of snow fell. However, snowfall is generally very rare, with an annual mean of and a median of zero.
Rainfall is generally heavy during the winter months, averaging over from November to February, when rain falls on around seventeen days in an average month, and on all but one day in November 1983. The wettest month has however been December 1996 with and the wettest “rain year” from July 1973 to June 1974 with . As with most of Oregon, the driest “rain year” was from July 1976 to June 1977 and saw only .
Spring arrives slowly with pleasant afternoon temperatures and less heavy rainfall by April, although showers are common until into June. High summer in July and August is very warm in the afternoon and generally dry, with no rain falling for 79 days between June 23 and September 9 of 1967, which saw the hottest month on record in August 1967 where the mean maximum was . Low humidity and pleasant mornings make this season comfortable, although airflows from the hot continent can bring spells of sweltering and arid weather, with reached on July 19 of 1956 and on August 8 of 1981. On average, eighteen afternoons will top but only two can expect to reach , while 62 mornings fall below freezing, but only two spells in January-February 1950 and December 1972 have ever seen temperatures as low as .
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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 14,583 people, 5,747 households, and 3,952 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 6,137 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the city was 92.6% White, 0.2% African American, 2.0% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 5.9% of the population.
There were 5,747 households, of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.2% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.
The median age in the city was 39.8 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.3% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 18.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.
The Polk County Itemizer-Observer is a weekly newspaper published in Dallas since 1875. KWIP (880 AM) is the only radio station currently licensed to the city.
Dallas' only hospital is West Valley Hospital. Oregon Route 223 is the only state highway that serves the city.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Dallas, OR, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.