Polk County

Polk County

Polk County 1845 *Named for President James Polk  *745 square miles  *County seat: Dallas (formerly Cynthia Ann)


Johnnie Ray
by James Fox

Johnnie RayIn the early 1950s, Johnnie Ray was arguably the biggest musical star in the world. His emotional singing and sexually suggestive performances earned him the titles "The Prince of Wails," "The Cry Guy," and "The Million Dollar Teardrop," and put him at the top of the music charts. From Sydney to Chicago to London, teenage riots erupted wherever Ray went.

Mark O. Hatfield
by Barbara Mahoney

As an Oregon legislator, secretary of state, governor, and United States senator, Mark O. Hatfield played a major role in Oregon and national politics and government during the second half of the twentieth century. He was widely recognized for his principled and often controversial stands on many issues, as well as for his ability to work with his colleagues of both parties. 


Hop Industry
by Peter A. Kopp

Hops are perennial, cone-producing, climbing plants native to Europe, Asia, and North America. While originally cultivated for ornamental or medicinal purposes over a thousand years ago, brewers across Europe began to use hops to flavor and preserve beer by the fifteenth century. The practice continues to the present as brewers worldwide use a resin from female hop cones, called lupulin.

Margaret Jewett Smith Bailey
by Jean M. Ward

book cover

Writing under the pen name Ruth Rover, Margaret Jewett Smith Bailey wrote one of the earliest works in Oregon, The Grains, or, Passages in the Life of Ruth Rover, with Occasional Pictures of Oregon, Natural and Moral, published in 1854 by Carter & Austin in Portland. The book appeared in two parts, in August and September of 1854, and was made available in a reconstructed, single volume in 1986.

Camp Polk Cemetery
by John Hayes

Camp Polk Cemetery—also known as the Hindman Cemetery, for the family who settled there after the camp closed—is approximately three miles northeast of the town of Sisters. Camp Polk was a Civil War-era military post that existed on adjacent land. It was named by the volunteers who were assigned there, most of whom were residents of Polk County.


Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
by David Lewis

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon is a confederation of over twenty-seven tribes and bands from western Oregon, southern Washington, and northern California. The tribes were removed to the Grand Ronde Reservation in 1856 by the U.S. government in order to free the land for American pioneer settlement and to alleviate the mounting conflicts among the tribes and settlers, miners, and ranchers.

by Charlene Brown

Willamina, located in the northwestern Willamette Valley, is in both Yamhill and Polk Counties. The town was named for the river that flows through it. The river was named in honor of pioneer Willamina Craig Maley Williams, who, in 1846, was reportedly the first white woman to cross the river.

Louis Southworth
by Peggy Baldwin

southworthLouis Southworth came to Oregon in 1853, a time that was less than hospitable to African Americans. Most people who traveled the Oregon Trail by wagon were from the nation’s midwestern and border states, and many hoped to avoid the conflicts caused by slavery. Slavery was not legal in Oregon, but African Americans had been prohibited from settling in Oregon since the days of the provisional government.

by Kyle Jansson

monmouth railroad

Monmouth’s claim to fame as Oregon’s last town to prohibit the sale of alcohol ended in 2002 when voters passed a ballot measure overturning a law that had its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century. In the early 1850s, more than a dozen families of Disciples of Christ churches in the Monmouth, Illinois, area moved to Oregon to establish the town. Proceeds from the sale of the town lots were used to establish a college under the supervision of the local Disciples of Christ Church. Monmouth University opened in 1856, and the town passed its first ordinance—prohibiting the sale of alcohol—in 1859.


Oregon Encyclopedia - Oregon History and Culture

Copyright © 2008-2014 Portland State University