The Smallest Town in America

Talk about getting away from the rat race. Elsie Eiler, 84, is the only resident of her hometown in Monowi, Nebraska. There used to be two of them, but that was before her husband passed away in 2004. She is the town’s mayor, village clerk, treasurer and librarian. The only business in town is the Monowi Tavern, which she owns and operates. She runs the town’s library as well. The town is technically the smallest town in the entire country; many shrinking areas have decided to unincorporate – but not Elsei, who files the required paperwork to keep Monowi designated as a village.

She actually completes a road plan for the municipality each year to secure funding from the state. She applies for her liquor and tobacco license each year for the restaurant and sends the paperwork to the secretary of the village for approval – who is Elsie. As she explained to the BBC,

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“So, I get them as the secretary, sign them as the clerk and give them to myself as the bar owner.”



James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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