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Atlantic, Iowa
Atlantic, Iowa.jpg
Coca-Cola Capital of Iowa, Christmas Capital of Iowa
Location of Atlantic, Iowa
Location of Atlantic, Iowa
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Cass
 • Total 8.34 sq mi (21.60 km2)
 • Land 8.29 sq mi (21.48 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
1,211 ft (369 m)
 • Total 6,792
 • Density 818.81/sq mi (316.15/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 712
FIPS code 19-03520
GNIS feature ID 0454275
Gingery Log cabin
Gingery Log cabin, Atlantic, Iowa

Atlantic is a city in, and the county seat of, Cass County, Iowa, United States, located along the East Nishnabotna River. The population was 6,792 in the 2020 census, a decline from the 7,257 population in 2000.


Atlantic, Iowa Rock Island Depot

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.

A Link With the Past (Quote from the plaque in front of the cabin.)

This 14 by 18 foot log cabin was built by John Gingery in 1863 in what was called Five Mile Grove located two miles northeast of Atlantic. John left Stark County where he had been raised and has become a school teacher. He was twenty-six years old and arrived just as Cass County was being organized. He was hired by Cass County to do their clerical work in organizing the county.
John Gingery married Mary Hyatt of Audubon County, Iowa on April 28, 1866. Ten children were born to them and all were born in this log house except the tenth and youngest child. This cabin may also have been used as the first school house in Pymosa Township until 1868 when a separate school building was erected.
The cabin was on the Gipple farm northeast of Atlantic when the Atlantic Rotary Club became interested in preserving and restoring it as the club's Bi-Centennial project in 1976. The Rotarians and Boy Scout troop 60 dismantled the cabin and numbered each log for rebuilding purposes. The Atlantic Soroptomists furnished the cabin much as it was originally furnished. It was the hope of the Atlantic Rotary Club that this cabin would typify the early history in Cass County and in the State of Iowa.

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.


Atlantic's longitude and latitude coordinates in decimal form are 41.401404, -95.010867.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.35 square miles (21.63 km2), of which, 8.32 square miles (21.55 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,200
1880 3,662 205.2%
1890 4,351 18.8%
1900 5,046 16.0%
1910 4,560 −9.6%
1920 5,329 16.9%
1930 5,585 4.8%
1940 5,802 3.9%
1950 6,480 11.7%
1960 6,890 6.3%
1970 7,306 6.0%
1980 7,789 6.6%
1990 7,432 −4.6%
2000 7,257 −2.4%
2010 7,112 −2.0%
2020 6,792 −4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
The population of Atlantic, Iowa from US census data

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 7,112 people, 3,137 households, and 1,906 families living in the city. The population density was 854.8 inhabitants per square mile (330.0/km2). There were 3,399 housing units at an average density of 408.5 per square mile (157.7/km2). The racial makup of the city was 97.0% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6%.

Of the 3,137 households, 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.2% were non-families. 34.3% of households were one person and 15.7% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.80.

The median age was 44.3 years. 22.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.9% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 22% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.



Atlantic is served by the Iowa Interstate Railroad, a successor to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. The railroad has one daily job, a local known as “The Rover”, that starts and ends its shift in Atlantic. From Atlantic service is provided to customers between Hancock and Des Moines. The town also sees two daily through freights.


It is within the Atlantic Community School District. Atlantic High School is the local school district.

Notable people

  • Don A. Allen, member of California State Assembly and of Los Angeles City Council in 1940s and 1950s, born in Atlantic
  • Harlan J. Bushfield (1882–1948), Republican U.S. senator and 16th governor of South Dakota
  • Blake Curd (born 1967), Physician and South Dakota state legislator
  • Jack Drake (1934–2015), longtime state representative in Iowa, born and died in Atlantic
  • William G. Cambridge, United States federal court judge
  • Steve H. Hanke, professor of economics, adviser to presidents, currency reformer and commodity and currency trader
  • Frederick C. Loofbourow (1874–1949), Republican U.S. representative from Utah
  • Shannon McCormick (born 1971), actor and voice actor
  • Ethel T. Wead Mick (1881–1957), founder of Masonic girls' organization now known as Job's Daughters
  • Ed Podolak (born 1947), professional football player and color commentator for Iowa Hawkeyes football games on WHO radio
  • William Appleman Williams (1921–1990), president of Organization of American Historians
  • Lafayette Young (1848–1926), Republican senator from Iowa, state senator, newspaper reporter, editor and owner

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Atlantic (Iowa) para niños

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