In 1851 Polk County was created from part of Paulding. Between 1832 and 1874 parts of Paulding County were annexed to several other counties: Campbell (now defunct), Carroll, Cass (later Bartow), Cobb, Douglas, Haralson, and Polk. Between 1850 and 1874 Paulding County annexed parts of Carroll, Cobb, Douglas, and Polk counties. Today the county covers 313 square miles. There have been two county seats in the county's history. The first, Van Wert, was created in 1833 and named after one of John Paulding's two companions in the arrest of Major Andre. Van Wert was in the part of Paulding County that went to Polk County.
The new county seat was named Dallas for George Mifflin Dallas, who had just finished serving as vice president in U.S. president James K. Polk's administration. Incorporated in 1854, Dallas has been home to several courthouses, the first described as resembling a shack, three miles from today's city center. The next courthouse was built in the mid-1850s and was replaced by the current structure in 1892. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the current building has been renovated several times and was provided with a three-story annex in 1990. Other incorporated cities in the county are Braswell and Hiram.
The Paulding County Courthouse, located in Dallas, was built in 1892 and is designed in the Queen Anne style. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and a three-story annex was added in 1990. It is the county's third courthouse.