When the Georgia General Assembly took the original western portion of Paulding County to create Polk County in 1852, it also took with it the original county seat, Van Wert. The legislature ceded western portions of Cobb County to create the newly-drawn Paulding County and necessitated the creation of a new town to serve as the county seat. The place chosen was very near the geographic center of the county, a place that was a crossroads of the ancient Native Americans who lived in the area. It sat on a hilltop and had several springs nearby, providing good quantity and quality of water.
The new town of Dallas was named for Vice-President of the United States, George Mifflin Dallas, of Pennsylvania. He served under President James Knox Polk, for whom the new county to the west had been named. Though the town was designated by the Inferior Court of Paulding County in 1852, it was not incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly until February 8, 1854. Forty acres of land in the geographic center of the county was purchased from pioneer settler Garrett H. Spinks for $1,000 on May 14, 1852. The first Town Commissioners were James H. Ballinger, James S. Hackett, Hezekiah Harrison, John Simmons Poole, and Garrett H. Spinks.
Dallas was hardly known until it and its environs were the sites of several battles during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. In late May and early June of 1864, three battles and several skirmishes were fought in Dallas and environs:
The City of Dallas purchased 175+ acres that contain a portion of the land where the Battle of Dallas was fought on May 28, 1864. The Dallas Battlefield Park at Scott Smith Preserve is designed to protect both the historical and natural assets of the area for generations to come.
In 1892, the iconic, Paulding County Courthouse was built on the north end of the Public Square. This building with its preeminent clock tower is actually the third courthouse in Dallas. The original courthouse, a temporary log building, built in 1852, was demolished after the second courthouse was built. That building stood on the east side of Main Street where the Dallas Masonic Lodge stands today. The second courthouse was a two-story brick structure in the Federal style of architecture, constructed in 1852-53. It was mentioned by General Sherman as “the brick courthouse at Dallas.” Once the 1892 Courthouse was built and occupied, the Dallas Masonic Lodge occupied the second floor of the old courthouse, and at least two attorneys had their offices on the first. It was completely destroyed by fire in 1924.
After several previous revisions, a new charter for the Town of Dallas was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1882 creating a Mayor & Council form of government. F. M. Duncan served as the first Mayor of Dallas. Then, in 1958, the General Assembly revised the charter to provide for a City Manager.
In 1951, the name of the Town of Dallas, Georgia was changed to The City of Dallas, Georgia. The name change was accomplished to comply with federal legislation allowing “cities” to create housing authorities, and other federal-related entities.
Dallas has a rich history, and we invite you to explore its people, places, and events.