Monowi is a very small town in northern Nebraska. As you make your way on the dusty highway you will see a small green sign that reads “Monowi” and has a single number one printed beneath it. This town has a tavern, a library and a population of one. Probably you might never have heard of a town with a single resident, Monowi has only one resident or simply has a population of one – Elsie Eiler.

Elsie Eiler
Elsie Eiler talks to a visitor in the 5,000 book library in the village of Monowi, Nebraska April 28, 2011. Eiler is the person living in Monowi making it the only incorporated town, village or city in the United States with only one resident. The library was the dream of her late husband Rudy a devoted reader. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES)

Elsie Eiler is everything or everyone in Monowi. She is the biggest celebrity, she’s the mayor, the Bartender, the librarian and the record keeper. She’s the only who lives in this town. When you think back to the sign that you saw on the road Monowi with a single number one printed beneath it, then you understand why the number one is put beneath “Monowi”. It simply means a population of one.

Eiler’s Town

Monowi Nebraska

Eiler is in charge of everything in this town. It is her town. Eiler is 84-years old and has been in charge of the Monowi Tavern for almost 50 years. A census that was done in 2010, showed that Elsie Eiler is the only person who lives in town. This made Monowi become the only incorporated place in America with a population of one.

Monowi Tavern is usually open six days of the week and remains closed on Mondays. The Tavern has become a favourite among people who live in the nearby cities. You can enjoy burgers and suds which are pretty good at reasonable prices. The fact that she’s the only person in Monowi has given Elsie Eiler a lot of popularity and she can be termed as the biggest celebrity in town. Eiler used to live with her husband, Rudy, up until 2004 when he passed away leaving the town all to her.

Eiler has been featured in newspapers and television shows which have played a major role in the number of people who visit Monowi. The town continues to experience a steady increase in the number of visitors and this has led to busier days than others. Eiler’s daughter and son, sometimes have come in to help her during the busier days.

Running the Town

Elise used to run the town with her husband, Rudy, up until 2004. The sign of the town noted a population of two. But when her husband died, Elsie had the town all to herself. She decided to up a 5,000-volume library in his honour which made the town more attractive to other people.

Elsie grew up and went to school in nearby Lynch. She says her heart is always in Monowi, but sometimes she goes to visit her daughter in Arizona. Elsie does things in a systematic manner. She has actually granted herself a liquor licence, which she pays to herself and has a yearly plan to get state funding for traffic lights.

Elsie will someday be gone, so what will happen to the town? Elsie says that his son who lives nearby has shown some interest in keeping the town running, but she doesn’t think it is possible. She doesn’t think anyone has what it takes to keep the town going as she does. Also, Elsie doesn’t feel like a celebrity. She just wants to keep doing what she does.




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