Today's Article - Monowi, Nebraska

This article is for quizzes on Wednesday December 14th...

Monowi is an incorporated village in Boyd County, Nebraska, United States. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of just one person, the only incorporated municipality in the United States with such a population.
The name Monowi is said to mean "flower" in a Native American language, but the language has not been identified. Monowi was so named from the fact there were many wildflowers growing at the original town site.

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

Monowi's peak years were in the 1930s, when it had a population of 150. 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 2; only one married couple, Rudy and Elsie Eiler, lived there. 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.

Although the village is nearly abandoned, it does have the 5,000-volume Rudy's Library, founded in memory of Rudy Eiler and maintained by Elsie Eiler. In addition, Elsie runs a tavern in Monowi and draws regular customers from as far as 80 miles away.

Elsie and Rudy's Library were shown on the Today show on May 31, 2005. (The library is now around three times as large as shown in the image).

Elsie and the Monowi Tavern were featured on CBS Sunday Morning on October 29, 2006, and again on August 12, 2007.

Elsie, the village, the tavern, and library were featured on an episode of Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, where Larry announced on a radio show that he was having a hotdog roast that very day to help raise money for Elsie's village. Within an hour people began to arrive and over a thousand people showed up for the roast to help Elsie. It aired April 12 and May 7, 2011, on The History Channel.


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