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Home > Local > Counties > Polk County

Polk County

A fountain at a park in Independence.

A fountain at a park in Independence. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

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County Seat: Courthouse, 850 Main St., Dallas 97338
Phone: 503-623-8173 (General); 503-623-3154 (Court Administrator)
Fax: 503-623-0896


Population (2016): 79,730
Established: Dec. 22, 1845
Elev. at Dallas: 325'
Area: 745 sq. mi.
Average Temp.: January 39.1° July 65.6°
Assessed Value: $5,621,923,862
Real Market Value: $8,121,188,858
Annual Precipitation: 51.66"
Economy: Agriculture, forest products, manufacturing, electronics and education


Polk County map

Related resources
Historical Records Inventory
Scenic Image
"County QuickFacts" (population and economic data from U.S. Census Bureau)
County Seat Map (from Yahoo! Maps)
County Map (from ODOT)


Incorporated cities
Dallas | Falls City | Independence | Monmouth | Salem | Willamina


Points of interest
Western Oregon University, covered bridges, historic courthouse, Brunk House, Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge, mountain scenery, wineries, National Historic Trail, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Headquarters and Spirit Mountain Casino


History and general information
Polk County was created from the original Yamhill district in 1845 by the Provisional Legislature. It was named for then President James Knox Polk. The first county seat was at Cynthia Ann. City officials later changed its name to Dallas, after Vice-President George M. Dallas, and moved the community about a mile to improve its water supply.

The first courthouse was at Cynthia Ann. A second courthouse burned in 1898 and was replaced with the present building built with sandstone quarried three miles west of Dallas. A three-story office annex was completed in 1966. Polk County Human Services was consolidated in the newly acquired Academy Building in 1989.

Traveling back roads in Polk County will reveal many attractions, from covered bridges and pleasant parks to vineyards, wineries, and bed and breakfast lodgings spotting the surrounding hills. Many roads meander through beautiful fertile valleys from the Willamette River to the timbered foothills of the Coast Range. Polk County was the primary destination of early wagon trains which took the southern route to Oregon. Cities located in Polk County include Dallas, Independence, Monmouth, Falls City and portions of Salem and Willamina.


County officials
Commissioners—Chair Craig Pope 2019, Mike Ainsworth 2019, Jennifer Wheeler 2021; Dist. Atty. Aaron Felton 2021; Assess. Douglas P. Schmidt 2021; Clerk Valerie Unger 2021; Sheriff Mark A. Garton 2021; Surv. Eric Berry; Treas. Linda Fox 2021; Co. Admin. Greg P. Hansen


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