If ever you are traveling through Nebraska, you may be interested in visiting the little town of Monowi. It is one of the only places in the world where the mayor is also the town’s only resident. In fact, Elsie Eiler is also the town’s treasurer, secretary, tavern owner, librarian and mediator if there are any arguments in the bar. She is taking multi tasking to a whole new level.
If you check the 2010 census of The United States of America, you will find that Monowi is the only registered and incorporated town that has a population of one. That means that Elsie, as the sole resident of the town, has a pretty unique life. She opens the bar at 9AM for six days a week, it was seven days a week until she decided she was allowed Mondays off after fighting off a battle with colon cancer. She serves up burgers, hot dogs and the coldest beers in town.
Generally she servers tourists that are interested in visiting a town with a population of one. But most of the time she deals with regulars, they come from towns nearby and all use her tavern as a community place to meet. Many will play card games, show off family photos and talk about their families in general.
Elie likes to joke that being the town’s only resident has perks, for example, there is no competition when she runs for mayor. Though one could argue this could be a lonely life, Eiler is very happy. She wins a landslide victory every year. Apart from running the bar that she opened with her late husband, she also runs the town’s library, which is a shack that has over 5,000 books. All the books are from her late husband’s private collection.
While many of America’s rural communities have shrunken and fallen into disarray, Elie is determined to not let this happen to Monowi. She keeps the town incorporated and ensures all the paperwork is done. She collects taxes from herself to keep the town’s lampposts lit and water flowing. Every year she submits the necessary road planning to Nebraska state and applies for her liquor and tobacco licenses by signing them herself.
Monowi wasn’t always this way, it was a bustling and growing railroad town of 150 people with small businesses. But as automation rose and farming conditions got worse, people left in search of greater chances, until Elsie Eiler was the last one left.