” I am likely to be alone. It is a fantastic experience,” Once Paloma Faith, Britsh singer, songwriter, and actress, said. Some people may agree to live alone and have their own space. But how would it be to have an entire town to yourself? There is a fantastic place in America.
What is this fantastic place?
Monowi is the only incorporated, government-run town in the United States.
Who is this particular person?
That single, solitary soul — is 87-year-old Elsie Eiler. As the only resident of Monowi, Nebraska, Elsie Eiler is the town’s mayor, treasurer, clerk, secretary, tavern owner, librarian, and default mediator. She is a lovely woman who chooses to remain in the village alone even though others and her children have left.
Her mother is a native of the United States, and her father is a German immigrant. Elsie received her education in the town of Lynch and spent her childhood on a farm owned by his parents. After completing the Airline School in Kansas, she went on to work in the reservation department.
She married Rudy, a classmate, when she was 19 years old. They married and lived in Omaha for a while before moving to Monowi. During the Korean War, Rudy served in the Air Force. In June 1971, they started a restaurant and bar, still functioning with Elsie in Minowi.
One resident town – Minowi
In 1902, the town of Monowi was established as a railroad, agricultural, and ranching center. The city had a population of 123 In 1930. Grain elevators, schools, a post office, a chapel, and even a jail were there. But the increasing mechanization of farming and the closing of the railroad in 1978 hastened Monowi’s downfall, which forced residents to relocate to other areas in search of employment opportunities. A census taken in the year 2000 revealed that the population of Monowi had once just been two people – Elsie and Rudy.
After her husband died in 2004, Elsie decided to stay alone in her home. Can you believe a woman lives alone in a city? Because of this uneasiness, many women are afraid of being alone. As a woman, her decision to live alone in an abandoned city was quite daring, as even males are sometimes scared to do so.
Elsie still lives in a half-block mobile home from the only business in the town – the Monowi Tavern – a restaurant and bar – which she owns and operates. Elsie opens Monowi Tavern at 9 a.m. six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday. After suffering from colon cancer in 2011, she set aside Mondays for herself. Still, Eiler works at the bar Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to whenever her last customer has gone home, some 12 to 14 hours later.
“I’m very fond of Monowi and have never wanted to live anywhere else. My relatives have died or moved to other places, but I intend to stay here. I am pleased right where I am now, ” Elsie explained. This is common for trucks, salespeople, construction workers, firefighters, police officers, and other customers who come for coffee. It’s just a meeting place, a hub, and everybody feels welcome to come.
Elsie sometimes enlists the help of friends. When things are busy, friends help out behind the bar. She takes it all in stride. “I never feel lonely because people who visit often look after me and always check on me; many people help me with my work,” Eiler added.
She enjoys being of service to others. People her age who hold these views visit her because she appreciates tradition.
Hunters come to her restaurant to fill their hidden stomachs, especially when looking for deer. She makes them feel welcome and feeds them delicious food. Elsie says, “Hunters are welcome.”
Elsie is the only person in town who owns a town library. She keeps a library in a tiny building jammed with 5,000 books in memory of her husband, who was a devoted reader. Anyone who visits the city has the opportunity to read books.
Eiler has a busy schedule being the solitary citizen of a one-human town. She pays the water bill and electricity bills for Monovy’s three street lamps. She gives her official signature to any piece of paper the government sends her to assist with various municipal operations and road maintenance.
As the sole resident of the city with a liquor license and a business, she is also the only one required to pay taxes to the government. She runs this small town as mayor without any competition. Can you imagine how powerful she is?
Due to her unique character, she has become a local legend and a national treasure. Elsie has been the subject of many news conferences and YouTube videos. Her tavern is currently visited by visitors from 47 states and 41 countries. Even though Elsie is a worldwide celebrity, she doesn’t care about it.
What would happen if she became seriously ill according to her age? Can bad guys pose issues for a lady living alone? Elsie has different viewpoints. She did not isolate the village when everyone left the town. What will happen to the city after her? Inevitably the city will also become an abandoned settlement.
People in the nearby towns thought she was crazy. Perhaps even her children would agree with that assessment. When shrinking communities in America are dissolving, Elsie has maintained the necessary paperwork to keep Monowi an official town.
Of course, she is a fantastic character. You have so much to say about her.
Can we move there?