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Dallas Historian

Dallas Historian

Early Pioneers  began to arrive to the area in 1843. The first settlement was on the LaCreole Creek. Col. James O'Neil had come to Oregon as a member of the Nethaniel J. Wythe party. He built the first gristmill, where O'Neil's Creek flowed into LaCreole Creek.

In 1844 families began to arrive by wagon train to settle along the LaCreole Creek near the mill. O'Neil also offered a general store and lodging for visitors who came for flour and other supplies as well as miners making their way to the California Gold Rush.

In 1849 a flood destroyed the gristmill and James O'Neil sold out to James W. Nesmith and Henry Owen. The gristmill was rebuilt and named Nesmith's Mill. It was later sold to Reuben P. Boise, who had the adjoining donation land claim. The area was renamed Ellen's Dale after his wife. Later becoming Ellendale and hosted the first official post office in Polk County, opening on January 8, 1850.

Pioneer Families 1843-1845

In 1843 Col. James W. Nesmith and Jesse, Charles, and Lindsey Applegate and their parties arrived and found James O'Neil had already arrived with a few men. In 1844 and 1845, men and their families began to arrive to the area. People of all professions were in this group, lawyers, doctors, teachers, merchants and ministers.

Col. James O'Neil presided at the famous "Wolf Meetings" in 1843, voted against the Hudson's Bay people, thus deciding the Oregon Country would belong to the United States and not Great Britain. The “Wolf Meetings” in 1843 were, to discuss how to eliminate predators (additionally, they created Oregon’s first Government.

Carey D. Embree built the first institute of learning, called Jefferson Institute, on his donation land claim, east of town. John E. Lyle conducted school here in 1846. Records show the first county court  and the first circuit court was also held here. There is a plaque on Bowers road, east of Dallas, marking the location.

In 1847, Lucien Heath was the first Recorder of Polk County. The first elected County Clerk was T.O. Hutchinson. David Lewis and Benjamin F. Nichols were the first Sheriffs and James Taylor was the first County Judge.

 Others who donated part of their land claims to build the LaCreole Academic Institute, were John E. Lyle, 20 acres, Solomon Shelton, 32 acres and John H. Lewis, 40 acres. This was done in 1855.

Others instrumental in building Dallas were Reuben P. Boise, Frederick Waymire, George Abernathy

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