Monowi, Nebraska


Monowi (/ˈmɒnw/ MON-oh-wy) is an incorporated village in Boyd County, Nebraska, United States. In 2010, only one person lived there.[7] It is the only city in the United States with only one person living there.[8]

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
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Nebraska.svg Nebraska
 • MayorElsie M. Eiler (R)[1]
 • Total0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)
 • Land0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,329 ft (405 m)
 • Total1
 • Estimate 
 • Density4.72/sq mi (1.82/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)402
FIPS code31-32550[5]
GNIS feature ID0831379[6]

The name Monowi means "flower" in an unknown Native American language.[9][10] Monowi was named after the many wildflowers growing at the original place of the village.[11]


Monowi was platted in 1902. This was when the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad was extended to that point.[12] A post office was created in Monowi in 1902. It was used until 1967.[13]

Monowi's peak years were in the 1930s, when it had 150 people living there.[14][15] Like many other small communities in the Great Plains, its younger residents moved to cities that were were growing and had better jobs. During the 2000 census, the village had only two people; only one married couple, Rudy and Elsie Eiler, lived there.[14] Rudy died in 2004. This made his wife the only remaining resident. She acts as mayor, giving herself a liquor license and paying taxes to herself. She is required to make a municipal road plan every year in order to get state funding for the village's four street lights.[16]


The United States Census Bureau says that the village has a total area of 0.21 square miles (0.54 km2). All land of it is land.[17] The village is in the far eastern part of Boyd County, in the northeastern part of Nebraska. It is between the Niobrara River and the bigger Missouri River.[18] The closest community to Monowi is Lynch, which is about 6.92 miles (11.14 km) away.[19][20] The village is about 193.97 miles (312.16 km) from Omaha.[19][21]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20171[4]0.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[22]
2012 Estimate[23]

Census data for Monowi is unique. In 2010:[3]

  • The total number of people was one (76.5 years old, female, white).
  • There was one householder, living alone.
  • Of the three houses in Monowi, only one had someone living in there.

In popular cultureEdit

  • Elsie and Rudy's Library was shown on the Today show on May 31, 2005.
  • 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 come. Over one thousand people showed up for the roast to help Elsie. It aired April 12 and May 7, 2011, on The History Channel.
  • Elsie and the village are featured in a short story about tiny cities on the online video site, Great Big Story.[24]
  • The village of Monowi, and its only resident Elsie Eiler, were featured on the BBC's The Travel Show in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2018.[25]
  • The village was used as a starting place for the biggest advertisement poster in the world. It was made by Arby’s, and it was finished on June 13, 2018 [26]
  • Elsie and the village of Monowi featured in an Arby's commercial. It was first shown on June 19, 2018.[27]
  • Elsie and the village of Monowi featured in a Prudential commercial, called "The STATE of the US" -- "America's SMALLEST TOWN Monowi, NE". It first aired on September 16, 2018.[28] In the opening shots, Wellness Expert, Alexandra Drane (who has no affiliation with the town) states "Welcome to Monowi, NE... Population, 1" while standing in front of two of the town's small buildings, one with a sign stating "Monowi Home of the Nite Owls" and the other with a sign stating "Welcome to the World Famous Monowi Tavern Only in America". Elsie Eiler (who is never identified by name in the commercial), replies, "Me" and continues with additional dialog by her and the narrator (possibly Alexandra Drane).

Related pagesEdit


  1. "Registrant Search Information for Elsie M Eiler". Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  2. "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 12, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "2010 Demographic Profile Data – Monowi village, Nebraska". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  5. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. US Census Bureau. "American FactFinder". Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  8. "Monowi, Nebraska, Population: 1". Reuters. May 4, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  9. Bright, William (2004). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4.
  10. 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.
  11. Fitzpatrick, Lillian L. (1960). Nebraska Place-Names. University of Nebraska Press. p. 22.
  12. "Monowi , Boyd County". Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies. University of Nebraska. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  13. "Boyd County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Monowi, Nebraska, America's smallest town is run by its single citizen/mayor/librarian/bartender". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  15. Macuha, Marhgil (May 6, 2011). "Elsie Eiler, The Lone Resident of Monowi Town in Nebraska". Batangas Today.
  16. Reid, Tim (February 19, 2005). "Introducing the mayor of Monowi: (population: 1)". The Times. Retrieved July 7, 2011.(subscription required)
  17. "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  18. The Road Atlas (Map) (2009 ed.). 1 inch:23 miles. Cartography by Rand McNally. Rand McNally. 2009. p. 63. § E13-E14.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Michels, Chris (1997). "Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  20. U.S Board on Geographic Names (March 9, 1979). "Feature Detail Report for: Lynch". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  21. U.S Board on Geographic Names (March 9, 1979). "Feature Detail Report for: Omaha". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  22. United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  23. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  24. "Living in a Town of Two". Great Big Story. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  25. "BBC News: The Travel Show". BBC. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  26. "Largest Advertising Poster", Guinness World Records, June 13, 2018, retrieved June 15, 2019
  27. "Arby's: Big Announcement | Arby's Now Has Coke", Arby's, June 19, 2018, retrieved June 20, 2018
  28. "The State of the US | -- America's Amllest Town Monwi, NE", Prudential, September 16, 2018, retrieved February 10, 2019

Other websitesEdit