Atlanta, at the junction of U.S. Highway 59, State highways 43 and 77, and Farm roads 96, 249, 251, 995, 1159, 1841, 2327, and 2791, ten miles west of the Texas-Arkansas line, is the largest town and most important economic center in Cass County. The town was established in 1871 with the building of the Texas and Pacific Railway and named for Atlanta, Georgia, former home of many early settlers. A post office opened in 1871, and by 1885 the community had 1,500 residents, three White and two black churches, two schools, a bank, several sawmills, a number of general stores, and a weekly newspaper, the Citizens' Journal. Lumbering was the chief industry. The lumber boom reached its peak around 1890, when the population was 1,764. The community was incorporated in 1929, when it had 1,900 residents and 105 businesses. The onset of the Great Depression forced many businesses to close, and in 1936 Atlanta had only eighty-five rated businesses. The opening of the Rodessa oilfield in 1935, however, helped mitigate the worst effects of the depression, and by 1940 the town had modern canneries, lumber mills, wholesale houses, a brick plant, a hospital, and a population of 2,453. Subsequently, Atlanta grew steadily, topping the 4,000 mark for the first time in the early 1960s. In 1990 the population was 6,118. By 2000 the population dropped to 5,745. Principal industries include farming, forestry, oil, and tourism.