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Gaston County History: Cities & Towns: Dallas



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Official city website.

Dallas was the original county seat of Gaston County. When the General Assembly created the new county of Gaston on December 21, 1846, it called for the creation of a town near the center of the county to be named for the then vice-president of the United States, George Mifflin Dallas. The county purchased 75 acres of land from Jesse Holland for $50 dollars to lay out the new town. The first mayor was Eli Pasour. The courthouse was built in 1848. The still standing Hoffman Hotel was built in 1852.

The General Assembly ratified the incorporation of Dallas on Feb. 5, 1863. It is the oldest incorporated city in the county. The act set the boundaries of the city as extending "one-half mile in every direction from the court house in said town" and provided for a government of five elected commissioners.

In 1874 there was a fire in the courthouse and some marriage and court records were lost. While damaged, the building survived and was rebuilt. Today it still serves as the Dallas Police Department.

In 1890 Branson's North Carolina Directory described Dallas as "200 miles southwest of Raleigh, and has a population of 438."

In 1909, after much controversy and several elections, Gastonia won the popular vote to become the new county seat. The combination of the railroads and the cotton mills had made Gastonia by far the bigger and faster growing town.

The General Assembly passed a revised and very detailed charter for the town on March 6, 1913.

Dallas population:

  • 1850 -- no count; 1860 -- no count;
  • 1870 -- 299; 1880 -- 417; 1890 -- 441;
  • 1900 -- 514; 1910 -- 1,065; 1920 -- 1,397;
  • 1930 -- 1,489; 1940 -- 1,704; 1950 -- 2,454;
  • 1960 -- 3,270; 1970 -- 4,059; 1980 -- 3,340;
  • 1990 -- 3,012; 2000 -- 3,402; 2010- -- 4,488.

In Dallas: Gaston County Museum of Art & History (Hoffman Hotel); Old Gaston County Courthouse (pdf); Dallas Historic District; Gaston College; Cotton Ginning Days, annual fall festival.

Dallas Historical Resources:

    • Dallas, North Carolina: A Brief History, by Kitty Thornburg Heller, (pub. 2013), call #: 975.6 Hel NCC.
    • "Dallas Historic District" IN National Register of Historic Places [Gaston County, North Carolina], call #: 917.5677 Nat NCC. Also pdf online.
    • History of Gastonia and Gaston County, by Robert Allison Ragan (pub. 2010), call #: 975.677 Rag NCC, especially p. 103-105, 558-563.
  • For city directory listings that include Dallas, see our guide City Directories.

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