Photo of Downtown Dallas from I-35

Downtown Dallas

Photo of Downtown Dallas from I-35.

Dallas is on the Trinity River in the center of Dallas County in North Central Texas. It is crossed by Interstate highways 20, 30, 35, and 45. The city was founded by John Neely Bryan, who settled on the east bank of the Trinity near a natural ford in November 1841. Bryan had picked the best spot for a trading post to serve the population migrating into the region. The ford, at the intersection of two major Indian traces, provided the only good crossing point for miles. Two highways proposed by the Republic of Texas soon converged nearby. Unknown to Bryan, however, he had settled on land granted by the republic to the Texan Land and Emigration Company of St. Louis, headed by William S. Peters. Bryan eventually legalized his claim, and the extensive promotional efforts of the Peters colony attracted settlers to the region. In 1844 J. P. Dumas surveyed and laid out a townsite comprising a half mile square of blocks and streets. The origin of the name Dallas is unknown. Candidates include George Mifflin Dallas, vice president of the United States, 1845–49; his brother, Commodore Alexander J. Dallas, United States Navy; and Joseph Dallas, who settled near the new town in 1843. When Dallas County was formed in 1846, Dallas was designated as the temporary county seat; in 1850 voters selected it as the permanent county seat over Hord's Ridge (Oak Cliff) and Cedar Springs, both of which eventually came within its corporate limits. The Texas legislature granted Dallas a town charter on February 2, 1856. Dr. Samuel Pryor, elected the first mayor, headed a town government consisting of six aldermen, a treasurer-recorder, and a constable.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Dallas is part of or belongs to the following places.

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The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.

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Adoption Status: ⭐
This place has been adopted and will not be available until July 7, 2025
Adopted by:
Debra Polsky
Dedication Message:
In honor of Jaynie Schultz

Currently Exists


Place type

Dallas is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Peters Colony)


  • Latitude

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


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Dallas by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
1,304,379 2020 United States Census Bureau
1,358,066 2019 Texas Demographic Center
1,197,816 2010 United States Census Bureau
1,188,580 2000 United States Census Bureau
1,007,618 1990 United States Census Bureau
904,078 1980 United States Census Bureau
844,401 1970 United States Census Bureau
679,684 1960 United States Census Bureau
434,462 1950 United States Census Bureau
294,734 1940 United States Census Bureau
260,475 1930 United States Census Bureau
158,976 1920 United States Census Bureau
92,104 1910 United States Census Bureau
42,638 1900 United States Census Bureau
38,067 1890 United States Census Bureau
10,358 1880 United States Census Bureau
3,000 1870 United States Census Bureau
2,000 1860 United States Census Bureau
480 1850 United States Census Bureau