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This Is The Only US Town With A Population Of One | The Only Resident Is Also The Mayor Of The Town!

This Is The Only US Town With A Population Of One | The Only Resident Is Also The Mayor Of The Town!

In the vast landscape of the US lies an entire town with a population of just one. Nestled in the rural stretches of Nebraska is Monowi, a town that defies traditional demographic categories. The sole resident of Monowi is Elsie Eiler, who governs over the town with the roles of mayor, clerk, and librarian. This is all within 0.21 square miles of settled area. This US town with a population of one has the whole world surprised. Let’s learn more about this small town and its only resident. 

Who Lives in Monowi, Nebraska?

In the tiny village of Monowi, Nebraska, Elsie Eiler is the sole occupant. The town is unique as the only incorporated town in the nation with a population of one. At 87 years old, Elsie represents the whole of Monowi’s residential register. Let’s have a closer look at her life

Elsie’s Life in Monowi

  • Moved to Monowi: Date not specified; has been the sole resident since 2004 after the passing of her husband.
  • Role in Monowi: Elsie serves as the mayor, clerk, and treasurer, among other civic duties.
  • Elsie Eiler’s Net Worth: Not publicly disclosed.

Elsie’s life in Monowi has been a remarkable journey of resilience and independence. Her contributions to the village span beyond mere residency.

She operates a local bar, which has become a point of interest for visitors seeking the experience. Monowi Tavern restaurant and bar is currently the only operating business in Monowi. It has been Elsie’s since 1971 and she starts her work at 9.00 a.m and continues to serve long hours until the last customer is gone. However, in 2011 Elsie was diagnosed with colon cancer. From that year onwards she took Mondays off. 

Image source: Eater

Elsie’s Personal History

  • Married Life: Elsie was married to her husband, Rudy, who passed away in 2004.
  • Community Impact: Elsie maintains the only operating local businesses.

Her presence has turned Monowi into a symbol of interest. 

US Town With A Population Of One
Image source: Nebraska Public Media

What It’s Like to Be the Only Resident?

Living completely alone in a town like Monowi is a special experience that Elsie Eiler knows all too well. As Monowi’s sole dweller, Eiler has embraced a multifaceted role, effectively becoming the mayor, bartender, librarian, and the single maintaining force of the community.

Eiler’s life in Monowi also involves managing all the municipal responsibilities single-handedly. This includes maintaining public records as the official town clerk and ensuring the operations of the local tavern and library

Despite its size, the town maintains a small library, curated over time by Eiler, reflecting her commitment to keeping the spirit of the community alive. She serves not only as a host at the local tavern but also as a representative of Monowi’s history to the visitors.

Why does no one live in Monowi?

Monowi, Nebraska, stands as a unique reminder of America’s rural life. The town was once a modest community. In the early 1900s—the town had about 150 residents—it now has just one resident, Elsie Eiler. Several factors contribute to the town’s declined population:

  • Rural Depopulation: As in many rural areas across the country, younger generations leave in search of employment, education, and opportunities in urban centers.
  • Aging Population: With no new families settling in, the natural aging of residents led to a decline as older citizens passed away.
  • Local Economy: As the population weakened, so too did the local economy. Businesses started closing and services were being centralized in larger neighboring towns.

Elsie Eiler, as the town’s only resident, maintains Monowi’s unique status with a unique set of responsibilities. For instance, she pays taxes to herself and grants her own alcohol license. She has taken over the roles typically held by a full town’s governance. Despite the challenges, her presence keeps Monowi on the map. 

US town with a population of one
Image source: Explanders

Who is the second secret resident on paper?

Elsie Eiler is the only known resident of the town. However, reports from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate a second residentThis mysterious individual exists only on paper, as a creation of the census records.

The second person listed for Monowi has sparked curiosity. This individual does not physically reside in or around Eiler’s home. 

“Well, then someone’s been hiding from me, and there’s nowhere to live but my house. But if you find out who he is, let me know?”

Ms. Eiler told the Lincoln Journal Star

According to a census spokeswoman, this mysterious person was created by an algorithm. This secret resident added to the list serves the purpose of protecting data.

“What you’re seeing there is the noise we add to the data so you can’t figure out who is living there. It protects the privacy of the respondent and the confidentiality of the data they provide.”

Census spokeswoman told the Star.

Can you live in Monowi, Nebraska?

Despite its singular inhabitant, Monowi is open to visitors and represents the essence of a small, community.

The town’s living situation poses several challenges. As the only resident, Eiler undertakes all municipal responsibilities. For potential new residents, this could mean a significant responsibility in civic management and upkeep.

Monowi does not offer the same luxuries as larger communities. Prospective residents would need to consider the lack of local services, businesses, and the sparsity of everyday conveniences. Utilities and infrastructure might also pose an issue.

In short, while living in Monowi would require embracing its singular lifestyle and assuming a role in its upkeep and governance, the town is very much a living community. It welcomes visitors who wish to experience its unique way of life. 

Monowi, Nebraska History

Monowi, Nebraska, has a unique history. The village’s past is rooted in the early 20th century when it was founded in the 1900s. Located in Boyd County, northern Nebraska, Monowi thrived during the heyday of the rural municipality era.

In the 1930s, Monowi’s economy was primarily supported by farming, with a peak population of approximately 150 residents. The community offered a collection of services and businesses, including a grocery store, a gas station, and two taverns, which served as social hubs for residents and visitors alike. The village was also supported by a railroad, which played a vital role in its development.

As the last half of the century progressed, Monowi experienced a significant declineYounger generations moved out seeking employment opportunities in urban centers. This contributed to the population decrease, a common trend seen in many rural areas. By 1980, the number of inhabitants had lowered to 18, signaling the start of a decline.

Geography of Monowi

Monowi, Nebraska, has a unique geography that stands out as a village within Boyd County. Situated in the northeastern part of Nebraska, the village covers a total area of just 0.21 square miles, all of which is land. No significant water bodies are within the village limits, which contributes to the straightforward, rural landscape of the area.

The landscape of Monowi is typical of the Great Plains region of the United States with a fairly flat topography and sprawling open spaces. The village experiences four distinct seasons, with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters.

There are no mountain ranges or large hills in or around Monowi. With its geographically modest presence, Monowi does not have any national parks or monumental natural formations. However, the natural simplicity of this tiny village makes Monowi’s geography easily navigable.

Image source: Explanders

Conclusion

The existence of towns in the United States with a sole resident represents a unique aspect of the nation’s settlement pattern. Analysis of demographic data explains trends in urbanization. Monowi is the only US town with a population of one and Elsie Eiler is the sole resident in the village. The demographic characteristics of these tiny towns contribute to the broader understanding of American living patterns. 

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