Monowi is an incorporated village in Boyd County, Nebraska, United States. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of one.
Monowi is an incorporated village in Boyd County, Nebraska, United States. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of one. It is the only incorporated municipality in the United States with such a population. The sole resident, Elsie Eiler, is the mayor as well as librarian and bartender, and has thus been the subject of various human interest stories.
According to tradition, the name Monowi means "flower" in an unidentified Native American language. Monowi was so named after the many wildflowers growing at the original site of the village.
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 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 two; 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 almost abandoned, it does have a bar called the Monowi Tavern, operated by Eiler for passing trade. In addition, Eiler maintains the five-thousand–volume Rudy's Library, founded in memory of her late husband.