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Noted as the “Crossroads of Gaston County,” the small, historic Town of Dallas (named after George Mifflin Dallas, the eleventh vice president of the United States) is located near the county’s geographic center and immediately north of the Interstate 85 and US 321 interchange. 

Established as the first seat of Gaston County government in 1846, Dallas would go on to officially incorporate as a town on February 11, 1863. Fast-forward to 2015, and the 4670 residents of this postcard-like oasis of southern charm and hospitality have honored their sesquicentennial anniversary by completing the comprehensive restoration and enhancement of the nationally registered (1848) historic courthouse building and traditional downtown public square. The area still serves as the town’s focal point for family-oriented gatherings and events and will continue to do so long into the future. 

One of Dallas’ most accomplished and revered residents, the late Dr. William C. Friday, grew up in a small frame house only blocks from the square. His distinguished career in higher education was hallmarked by his service as the longest-tenured president (1956-1986) in the University of North Carolina system. The university system’s growth, prestige and status as one of the nation’s premier institutions were largely defined by Dr. Friday’s active presence. Today, the William C. Friday Middle School reflects his legacy of educational service and leadership.