Monowi, Nebraska
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Monowi, Nebraska

Monowi, Nebraska
Population sign that can be seen on entering Monowi from the east
Population sign that can be seen
on entering Monowi from the east
Location within Boyd County
Location within Boyd County
Detailed map of Monowi, Nebraska
Detailed map of Monowi, Nebraska
Monowi is located in Nebraska
Location within Nebraska
Monowi is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 42°49?44?N 98°19?45?W / 42.82889°N 98.32917°W / 42.82889; -98.32917Coordinates: 42°49?44?N 98°19?45?W / 42.82889°N 98.32917°W / 42.82889; -98.32917
Country Flag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Nebraska.svg Nebraska
 o MayorElsie M. Eiler (R)[1]
 o Total0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)
 o Land0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)
 o Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,329 ft (405 m)
 o Total1
 o Estimate 
 o Density4.72/sq mi (1.82/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 o Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)402
FIPS code31-32550[5]
GNIS feature ID0831379[6]

Monowi ( MON-oh-wy) is an incorporated village in Boyd County, Nebraska, United States. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of one. It is the only incorporated municipality in the United States with such a population.[7][8] The sole resident, Elsie Eiler, is the mayor as well as librarian and bartender, and has thus been the subject of various human interest stories.[9][10]

According to tradition, the name Monowi means "flower" in an unidentified Native American language.[11][12] Monowi was so named after the many wildflowers growing at the original site of the village.[13]


Rudy's Library

Monowi was platted in 1902, when the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad was extended to that point.[16] A post office was established in Monowi in 1902 and remained in operation until 1967.[17]

Monowi's peak years were in the 1930s, when it had a population of 150.[18][19] Like many other small communities in the Great Plains, it lost its younger residents to cities that were experiencing growth and offering better jobs. During the 2000 census, the village had a total population of two; only one married couple, Rudy and Elsie Eiler, lived there.[18] Rudy died in 2004, leaving his wife as the only remaining resident. In this capacity, she acts as mayor, granting herself a liquor license and paying taxes to herself. She is required to produce a municipal road plan every year in order to secure state funding for the village's four street lights.[20]

Although the village is almost abandoned, it does have a bar called the Monowi Tavern, operated by Eiler for passing trade.[clarification needed] In addition, Eiler maintains the five-thousand-volume Rudy's Library, founded in memory of her late husband.[18]

Panorama of Monowi Tavern
Monowi Tavern, 2013


According to the US Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.21 square miles (0.54 km2), all land.[21] The village is located in the far eastern portion of Boyd County, in the northeastern region of Nebraska. It is located between the Niobrara River and the larger Missouri River.[22] The nearest community to Monowi is Lynch, located approximately 6.92 miles (11.14 km) away.[23][24] The village is located approximately 193.97 miles (312.16 km) from Omaha.[23][25]


Census data for Monowi highlight its uniqueness. As of 2010:[3]

  • The total population was one (76.5 years old, female, white).
  • There was one householder, living alone.
  • Of the three housing units in Monowi, only one was occupied.


The area is within the Lynch Public Schools district in Lynch.[26]

In popular culture

Elsie and the village have been featured on a number of shows, including Today (May 31, 2005), CBS Sunday Morning (October 29, 2006, and August 12, 2007), Great Big Story,[27] and The Travel Show[28] (March 17, 2018). It was also featured on Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy (April 12 and May 7, 2011), where over a thousand people visited Monowi to raise money for the village.[]

The village has also been featured in television commercials by Arby's[29] (first aired June 19, 2018) and Prudential[30] (first aired September 16, 2018). The village was also used as a starting place for the biggest advertisement poster in the world, which was finished on June 13, 2018.[31]

See also


  1. ^ "Registrant Search Information for Elsie M Eiler". Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2019.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b "2010 Demographic Profile Data - Monowi village, Nebraska". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved 2008.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved 2008.
  7. ^ US Census Bureau. "American FactFinder". Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Reuters, Monowi, Nebraska, Population: 1.
  9. ^ Carter, Maria (March 31, 2017). "This 83-Year-Old Woman Is the Mayor, Bartender, Librarian and Sole Resident of Monowi, NE". Country Living. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ Welcome to Monowi, Nebraska: population 1, By Will Francome, Megan Garner & Eliot Stein 30 January 2018,
  11. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4.
  12. ^ Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 104.
  13. ^ Fitzpatrick, Lillian L. (1960). Nebraska Place-Names. University of Nebraska Press. p. 22.
  14. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ "Monowi , Boyd County". Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies. University of Nebraska. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "Boyd County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ a b c "Monowi, Nebraska, America's smallest town is run by its single citizen/mayor/librarian/bartender". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Macuha, Marhgil (May 6, 2011). "Elsie Eiler, The Lone Resident of Monowi Town in Nebraska". Batangas Today.
  20. ^ Reid, Tim (February 19, 2005). "Introducing the mayor of Monowi: (population: 1)". The Times. Retrieved 2011.(subscription required)
  21. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  22. ^ The Road Atlas (Map) (2009 ed.). 1 inch:23 miles. Cartography by Rand McNally. Rand McNally. 2009. p. 63. § E13-E14.
  23. ^ a b Michels, Chris (1997). "Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved 2012.
  24. ^ U.S Board on Geographic Names (March 9, 1979). "Feature Detail Report for: Lynch". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012.
  25. ^ U.S Board on Geographic Names (March 9, 1979). "Feature Detail Report for: Omaha". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012.
  26. ^ "Schools in Lynch Public Schools." SchoolDigger. Retrieved on July 21, 2011. See map.
  27. ^ "Living in a Town of Two". Great Big Story. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ "BBC News: The Travel Show". BBC. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ "Arby's: Big Announcement | Arby's Now Has Coke", Arby's, June 19, 2018, retrieved 2018
  30. ^ "The State of the US | -- America's Smallest Town Monowi, NE", Prudential Financial, September 16, 2018, retrieved 2019
  31. ^ "Largest Advertising Poster", Guinness World Records, June 13, 2018, retrieved 2019

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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