The City of Atlantic with a population of 7,112 is located in southwest Iowa approximately seven miles south of Interstate 80 along Historic Route 6. Incorporated in 1868, Atlantic also serves as the county seat for Cass County.
Atlantic was founded in October 1868 by Franklin H. Whitney, B.F. Allen, John P. Cook, and others. While historians cannot agree how Atlantic got its name, local legend tells that the founding fathers estimated that the town was about halfway between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, so it led them to flip a coin and, clearly, Atlantic won. The nearby Rock Island Railroad was important in deciding the actual location of the town, and to this day, the old depot sits at the north end of Chestnut Street. Today, the old depot serves as the offices of the Chamber of Commerce.
Another story told about Atlantic is the way main street was located. Someone asked Whitney where it should be placed. He marked the center at current day 6th and Chestnut and then plowed two furrows 100 feet (30 m) apart all the way up to the railroad, just north of Second Street.