Atlas is at the intersection of Farm roads 2036 and 137, five miles northeast of Roxton and five miles southwest of Paris in south central Lamar County. It was founded in 1884 when the Texas-Midland Railroad began to use a local rock quarry to obtain ballast. Railroad owner Edward H. R. Green is credited with naming the quarry and the post office Atlas, for the character in Greek mythology who supported the world. The first postal facility opened in 1884. By 1890 Atlas had twenty residents, two cotton gins, and a general store. I. H. Hughes had established a law practice. A triweekly stagecoach ran to Paris and Cooper; the fare was twenty-five and fifty cents respectively. The stage also delivered the mail. By 1896 a local common school district enrolled seventy students and employed one teacher. In 1914 the population was fifty, and the town had a new cotton gin and a telephone exchange. In 1929 Atlas had a population of seventy-six. Maps for 1936 showed a cotton gin, two stores, the school, and a church. The postal service was discontinued in 1943. In 1947 the population peaked at 120, and four businesses were in operation. In 1949 Atlas had fifty people and two businesses. By 1957 no businesses were left, and schoolchildren attended the Roxton schools. The population of Atlas remained at fifty throughout the 1960s, decreased to forty by 1970, and was reported as twenty in 1974. Maps for 1984 showed a church and a few scattered dwellings. The town had twenty inhabitants in 1990 and 2000.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Vista K. McCroskey | © Texas State Historical Association
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