The ground-state energy, the effective mass and the number of virtual phonons of the optical large polaron confined strictly in one dimension have been estimated by using the generalized Gaussian approximation. The leading-order terms take care of all Gaussian fluctuations in the system and improve the conventional variational estimates at finite coupling. Particularly, the lowest upper bound to the polaron ground-state energy has been obtained. The non-Gaussian contributions systematically correct the leading-order approximations. We have obtained exact analytical solutions in the weak- and strong-coupling limit and reasonable numerical data for intermediate coupling. Our result for the number of excited phonons limits the validity region of the few-phonon approximation methods.