This is an incorporated city, now the county seat; has a population now of about two thousand. It was laid out in the Fall of 1868. The first train on the railroad came in January, 1869. The county seat was moved from Lewis to Atlantic in November, 1869, after a spirited contest. It is beautifully located, on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, on land which gradually rises into gently sloping hills, which face to the north, and is skirted with a beautiful grove of timber on the southwest. Its western limit is near the Nishnabotany River. The principal business street is Chestnut, one hundred feet wide, on which are several fine brick blocks, that would do credit to an older place. There is a beautiful public park on Chestnut Street, which has been laid out and trees of different kinds planted. The county has also, adjoining the park, a block of ground for county purposes, on which trees have also been planted. Atlantic possesses a great deal of life and enterprise, and is destined to be a large place. It maintains excellent schools, has finished a very fine brick school building, and there is another in process of construction. For educational advantages it is second to no place in the state of its size.
The Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists and Catholics have good church buildings. The Episcopalians have an organization and own a lot, and expect to build before long.
The Masons and Odd Fellows have both prosperous lodges here.
There are three newspapers published here, which are the only ones in the county:
The Cass County Messenger was established in 1864 at Lewis. It is Republican in politics, published Saturdays, on the co-operative plan, by Johnson & Willey, and is well sustained.
The Atlantic Telegraph was established in 1871 by Lafe Young, the present editor and proprietor. It is an eight column folio, printed entirely at the home office, published Wednesdays, Republican in politics, and has a large and increasing circulation.
The Cap Sheaf is a Democratic newspaper, edited and published by D. M. Harris, on the co-operative plan; issued every Friday. It was established May 1, 1874, bu its present proprietor, and has a very good circulation.
Atlantic has two good substantial banks -- the "First National" and the "Cass County"; four grain elevators, and a large steam flouring mill and elevator combined. It has a very large territory tributary to it. Part of Montgomery, Shelby and Audubon Counties do most of their business there.
This place is located on the east side of the East Nishnabotany River, about seven miles southwest of Atlantic.
It was formerly the county seat, and a place of considerable importance, being on a main line of travel across the state before the construction of railroads. There is a good mill site on the river adjoining the town. The town was laid out in February, 1854. Among the first settlers were R. C. Lambert, S. M.Tucker, S. H. Myers, Charles Woodward, Daniel Stanley, James S. Rand and J. W. Benedict. The first house was built by S. M. Tucker, and the first white child born in the town was George D. Tucker. The Methodists were the first religious denomination that organized a society. The first newspaper published, and the first in the county, was the Cass County Gazette, by J. C. Brown, who was killed during the war at Milliken's Bend.
ANITA. -- This is a thriving station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, in the northeast part of the county. It is an important shipping point for large portions of Cass and Audubon Counties, and is growing rapidly. It has churches, schools, elevators and stores, and promises well.
WIOTA. -- This is also a station on the railroad, between Atlantic and Anita. Being accessible to a fine district of farming country, it bids fair to become an important shipping point.
MARNE. -- This is a new station on the railroad, about six miles west of Atlantic; has a post office. It has grown quite rapidly in the last two months, and being in the center of a good county, there is no reason why it should not become quite a place.
The other post offices are Newlan's Grove, Whitneyville and Wilson's.
"A. T. Andreas Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa" Chicago: Andreas Atlas Co., 1875, pg. 487.