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This town has only one citizen!

Elsie Eiler, 73, a lone resident of the world's smallest town, is all-in-all for the town, from being the road sweeper, to police chief, tax collector and the caretaker of the cemetery.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 18:13 IST

A one-house town called "Monowi" in the US is perhaps the smallest town in the world! It was qualified as a town during the last US census in 1996.

The lone resident here is the 73-year-old Elsie Eiler, who is all-in-all for the town, from being the road sweeper, to police chief, tax collector and the caretaker of the cemetery.

She is undisputedly the most powerful person in her town!

"I do quite a few jobs around the town. Being mayor is the most important but as the only person living in Monowi there are no real civic duties to carry out."

"There’s no parades and no functions to attend otherwise I’d be rushed off my feet. One great advantage of being the only person in town is that there are no arguments. What I say goes," The Sun quoted the old lady as saying.

But, in reality it ceased being a town more than 20 years ago when most of the families moved out. It can only be reached along the two-lane ‘Route 12’ that cuts through the vast open spaces of Nebraska, one of the least populated states in the US.

On both sides of the road that divides the tiny town sit the rusting frames of cars and trucks, long stripped of anything valuable. The dozen houses that remain are so dilapidated they look as if they could crash to the ground at any moment and rubbish is strewn across the neglected fields.

Elsie has lived in a three-bedroom trailer near the road since 1971 and intends never to leave. She and husband Rudy moved there 35 years ago from bustling nearby Lynch (pop 200).

When the Eilers arrived, Monowi was almost thriving — there were more than 25 residents. "Monowi is home. I know some people will find it strange that I can be the only resident but I am happy. I probably know almost everyone who lives within 50 miles. The tavern keeps me busy, as there are always people stopping by for something to eat. If I ever get bored there are lots of friends to go and see," she says.

Rudy died from cancer two years ago but Elsie decided to stay and continue running the small, single-story wooden tavern her family has owned for more than 50 years. Over the years, the number slowly dwindled as people died or moved away. Since 1996, the Eilers and one other were the only people there.

Next door to the rundown tavern is the grocery store, which closed in 1940.