Mummy Eiler, The Lone Resident Who Is Mayor And Every Other Thing.. BY AGBA JALINGO

Five miles from the South Dakota border in the remote northern reaches of the US state of Nebraska, there is a small town called, Monowi, with only one resident and an abandoned church, whose empty pews are now filled with tractor tyres.

84 years old, Elsie Eiler, became the only resident of Monowi, after her husband Rudy, passed away in 2004. Today, according to the US Census, Monowi is the only incorporated place in the US with just one resident, and Eiler is the mayor, clerk, treasurer, librarian, bartender and only person left in the US’ tiniest town.

She pays taxes to herself, grants her own alcohol licence and runs a tavern where people come from neighbouring towns to patronize. As mayor, each year, she hangs up a notice in Monowi’s only business (her bar) advertising mayoral elections, and then votes for herself.

She’s required to produce a municipal road plan every year to secure state funding, and then raises about $500 worth of taxes from herself annually to keep the town’s three lampposts flickering and its water flowing.

Eiler explained to the BBC in 2020 that: “When I apply to the state for my liquor and tobacco licenses each year, they send them to the secretary of the village, which is me. So, I get them as the secretary, sign them as the clerk and give them to myself as the bar owner.”

She walks a few feet from her home to the tavern each morning at 9am to open the bar, except Mondays, when she gives herself a day off. She sells alcohol and also cooks hamburgers ($3.50), hot dogs ($1.25) and gizzards ($4). Most of her regular customers live within 20 to 30 miles but others drive 200 miles from Lincoln and Omaha to patronize her and Eiler doesn’t usually close up until after 21:30 when things quieten down.

Monowi is one of three incorporated towns in Boyd County, Nebraska, that has fewer than 10 residents. Monowi surpassed nearby Gross, Nebraska, with a population of 2 residents to become the only incorporated town in the US with just one resident.

Do you have the resilience of Mummy Eiler Rudy? Can you live in a ghost town and make sense of it and derive all the happiness you wish for? Can you run even your street residents association and maintain the legendary orderliness of Mummy Eiler? Ponder!!!

Yours sincerely,
Citizen Agba Jalingo.


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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