Monowi, Nebraska, is the only incorporated town in the United States with a population of one. And as the BBC reports, its lone resident is an 84-year-old woman named Elsie Eiler.
Eiler is the clerk, treasurer, librarian, and bartender of the one-woman town. She is also the mayor; each year, she hangs an advertisement in the bar, which she owns, to advertise the mayoral election. Then she votes for herself.
During Elier’s youth, Monowi was a small farm town, occupied by some 150 people. But in the wake of the Second World War, Monowi started to decline and most of its residents moved away. By the early 2000s, its sole occupants were Elier and her husband, Rudy.
Rudy died in 2004, but Elier decided to stay put. “I know I could always move closer to my children or stay with them whenever I want, but then I’d have to make all new friends again,” she told the BBC. “As long as I’m able to be here, this is where I really want to be. I guess it’s harder to change your habits when you get older.”
Elier may be alone in Monowi, but she isn’t lonely. People in the surrounding region regularly visit the Monowi Tavern, where Elier serves food and hosts card games. Every now and then, visitors from afar, who have heard about the famously tiny town, come to check it out. Tourists from 47 states and 40 countries have stopped by.
“I get asked a lot if I’m lonely,” Elier told the BBC, “and I say, ‘Well, there’s always somebody coming and going.’”
Read the full story at the BBC.