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It is the county seat of Cass County. The community was named after Atlanta, Georgia, by a postal worker who had visited that city. Atlanta was founded in 1871 as a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railway; it incorporated in 1874. It became an important cattle shipping point for ranchers from surrounding counties until about 1900 when railroads were built to larger markets such as Dallas and Fort Worth. In 1902, oil was discovered near Atlanta which led to an oil boom lasting into the 1920s; however this did not last long due to poor production quality of local wells (the area still produces small amounts). During World War II several thousand German prisoners-of-war were housed at Camp Hearne just outside town because there wasn't enough room for them at other camps located further east along U.S Route 59 (now Interstate Highway 20). The camp opened on September 4th 1942 with approximately 3200 POW's arriving over time from Camp Swift near Bastrop Texas where they had been held since being captured during Operation Torch landings in North Africa earlier that year.