Atlantic, Iowa

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Atlantic, Iowa
Atlantic, Iowa.jpg
Coca-Cola Capital of Iowa
Location of Atlantic, Iowa
Location of Atlantic, Iowa
Coordinates: 41°24′5″N 95°0′39″W / 41.40139°N 95.01083°W / 41.40139; -95.01083Coordinates: 41°24′5″N 95°0′39″W / 41.40139°N 95.01083°W / 41.40139; -95.01083
Country United States
State Iowa
 • Total8.37 sq mi (21.67 km2)
 • Land8.32 sq mi (21.55 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
1,211 ft (369 m)
 • Total7,112
 • Estimate 
 • Density784.28/sq mi (302.80/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)712
FIPS code19-03520
GNIS feature ID0454275
Gingery Log cabin, Atlantic, Iowa

Atlantic is a city in, and the county seat of, Cass County, Iowa, United States,[4] located along the East Nishnabotna River. The population was 7,112 in the 2010 census, a decline from the 7,257 population in 2000.[5][6]


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 depot serves as the offices of the Chamber of Commerce.[7]

A log cabin stands in Atlantic City Park with a historical plaque bearing the following inscription:

A Link With the Past

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.[8]

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.[7]

Since 1929, Atlantic is noted for the Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, which bottles and distributes drinks from The Coca-Cola Company to southwestern and central Iowa.[9]

Atlantic has one high school, The Atlantic High School, home of the Atlantic Trojans.


Atlantic's longitude and latitude coordinates in decimal form are 41.401404, -95.010867.[10]

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.[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20196,526[3]−8.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2010 census[edit]

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%.[2]

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.

2000 census[edit]

At the 2000 census there were 7,257 people, 3,126 households, and 1,969 families living in the city. The population density was 890.4 people per square mile (343.8/km2). There were 3,354 housing units at an average density of 411.5 per square mile (158.9/km2). The racial makup of the city was 98.65% White, 0.25% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.79%.[13]

Of the 3,126 households 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 33.7% of households were one person and 18.0% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.81.

Age spread: 23.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.0% 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median household income was $33,370 and the median family income was $41,168. Males had a median income of $30,691 versus $20,271 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,832. About 6.3% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.


It is within the Atlantic Community School District.[14] Atlantic High School is the local school district.



Atlantic, Iowa is one of the smallest communities in Iowa to have a daily newspaper, the Atlantic News-Telegraph. The editor E.P. Chase of the newspaper was awarded the 1934 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.


Atlantic is home to three radio stations. KJAN 1220 AM which features a variety music format and is licensed to Wireless Communications Corp.. KJAN also broadcasts on FM translator 101.1. KJAN AM 1220/FM 101.1 features local news, sports, weather, farm and information 24 hours a day. Listen to Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball, St. Louis Cardinals baseball and Kansas City Chiefs football on KJAN. KSOM 96.5 FM which features country music, Paul Harvey, Farm Reports, the Local News, Iowa State Sports and NASCAR. KSWI 95.7 FM which features classic rock and Atlantic high school sports. Meredith Communications, LLC currently (2010) owns both KSOM and KSWI.



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, that starts and ends it's shift in Atlantic. From Atlantic service is provided to customers between Hancock and Des Moines. The town also sees two daily through freights.

Notable people[edit]

  • Don A. Allen, member of California State Assembly and of Los Angeles City Council in 1940s and 1950s, born in Atlantic[15][16]
  • 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[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved 2011-08-06.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Data from the 2010 Census". State Data Center of Iowa. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  7. ^ a b *Naming of Atlantic" Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Quote from the plaque in front of the cabin.
  9. ^ Atlantic Bottling Company - About Us
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ "Atlantic" (PDF). Iowa Department of Education. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  15. ^ Los Angeles Public Library reference file
  16. ^ JoinCalifornia website, citing other sources

External links[edit]