If the prospect of knowing everyone who lives in your community appeals to you, you might consider moving to Monowi, Nebraska. Getting to know all of the residents won’t be too difficult. The population of Monowi consists of a grand total of one person.
Elsie grew up on a farm outside of the town and went to high school in Lynch, seven-and-a-half miles away. She went to an airline school in Kansas City after graduating from high school and worked as a reservations officer for TWA. She married Rudy Eiler, whom she had known since the third grade when she was 19. After his military service in the Korean War, they purchased a tavern in Monowi and made their home in the community in 1975.
Monowi was already a small town when Elsie and Rudy settled there. By 1980, the population had dwindled to just 18. By the turn of the 21st century, it was just the two of them. Rudy passed away in 2004, leaving Elsie as the sole resident of Monowi.
Each year she levies taxes against anyone who happens to be a resident and duly pays her tax bill into the town treasury. The tax money is used toward the town’s infrastructure. She is required to produce a municipal road plan every year in order to secure state funding for Monowi’s four street lights. When her term of office as mayor is up, she announces her candidacy for reelection and holds a proper election. She routinely gets 100% of the vote.
Holding the office of mayor is more than symbolic. The only way she can operate her tavern is with a duly-authorized liquor license supplied by the town government. Her government of one allows the business to continue to serve her neighbors — all of whom live outside of the municipal limits.
If you think being the only person living in a town makes for a lonely existence, think again. Elsie has achieved celebrity status, bringing visitors from all fifty states to Monowi. She has been interviewed on national television and radio, and was recently featured in a commercial for Arby’s:
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