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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Loneliest Town (Population: 1)

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Although the USA has evolved into an overwhelmingly metropolitan nation over the last few decades

just over half of the countrys population (according to year 2000 statistics) still

live in towns and cities with fewer than 25,000 people.

The country is still made up of many small towns, some of which have low dwindling populations.

Theres one town in the States where you could double the population just by showing

up.

It has a pub, a library and one resident, who takes care of the passing trade.

Theres another town with a population of just two.

And of course there are the many ghost towns scattered across the country with populations

of zero.

The one single resident of the town with the tiniest population is sticking to her routes.

Lets meet her in Todays Infographics Show as we bring to youThe Town with

a Population of One Monowi is an incorporated village in Boyd

County, Nebraska, United States, that had, on its 2010 census, a population of just one

person.

The town was founded in 1902 when the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad reached

its location.

A post office was built and remained in service until 1967.

Peak years were in the 1930s when the population spiked to a healthy 150 people, had three

grocery stores, a restaurant, and even boasted a prison.

However, like many smaller communities in the Great Plains, the younger generations

immigrated to cities offering better employment opportunities.

In the year 2000 census the town had a population of two peoplethe married couple Rudy

and Elsie Eiler who met at elementary school and married aged 19.

Rudy, who had served in the Korean war, died in 2004 leaving his wife as the only resident

in town.

She runs a bar and a library.

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,” Elsie told the BBC.

So, I get them as the secretary, sign them as the clerk, and give them to myself as the

bar owner.

Im happy here.

I grew up here, Im used to this, and I know what I want,” she added.

She has appointed herself mayor with her own liquor license and pays her taxes to herself

and is the towns chief in every way.

She submits plans to the state to secure funding for the towns four street lights.

She runs the Monowi Tavern, the towns only pub, and looks after any passing trade.

She also runs the 5,000 plus volume Rudys Library.

The library was opened in honor of her late husband who like herself, was a confirmed

bibliophile.

But Eiler hasnt spent her entire life in Monowi.

When her husband packed his kit bag and went off to fight in the Korean War, Eiler travelled

to Denver where she worked for an airline.

She had dreams of becoming an air stewardess.

That occupation would have naturally opened up the doors to worldwide travel, but instead

Eiler became just one of the many citizens who left the town for the city.

She eventually returned.

I didnt care much for the city; Monowi had always been home.

Elier and Rudy raised two children in town and in 1971 decided to reopen the pub that

had once belonged to Eilers father.

But by the mid-1970s the town, like many other mid-western towns after World War Two, was

in the midst of an economic slump.

A number of communities in the heartland of the USA had begun to disappear and Monwi looked

like it was set to follow the trend.

The towns school rang its bell for the last time in 1974 and by this time both Eiler

and Rudys children had moved away from town.

By 1980 the population stood at just 18 people.

Now it is just Eiler and her pub.

She opens the tavern six days a week at 9am and spends 12 hours serving her regular customers

who have been dropping by for years.

Its like one big family,” Eiler explained.

There are fourth and fifth-generation customers coming in.

Its pretty neat when the people you remember as babies are now bringing their babies in

to show me.”

Many of the passing customers are tourists who travel from all over the world to take

a look at the USAs smallest town, perhaps grab a beer at the tavern, and sign the guestbook.

Eiler has become used to life here.

She has five grandkids, some of whom live as far away as the Netherlands, and some live

closer to home in Ponca, Nebraska.

I know I could always move closer to my children or stay with them whenever I want,

but then Id have to make all new friends again,” Eiler explained.

As long as Im able to be here, this is where I really want to be.”

Before Rudy passed away, Monowi was neck and neck with the nearby Gross, Nebraska.

Both towns had a population of two making those towns both joint leaders in the USAs

least populated town.

Gross (a misleading town name) had a population of two in the 2010 census.

Established in 1893 by Ben Gross and his wife, the couple opened up a general store in anticipation

of a railroad that was to be constructed.

So Gross started off as a town of two and dropped back down to that number in the 2010

census following a boom period in the early twentieth century.

Ten years after the town was established in 1904 a bustling town had developed and Gross

had a handful of businesses, a church, some factories and over 600 residents.

However once the rail traffic decided to bypass Gross the people began to leave town.

A great fire then tore through town destroying most of the businesses and by 1970 only eight

residents remained.

Nowadays married couple Mike and Mary Finnegan are the only two residents of Gross, and like

Eiler in Monowi, they run a restaurant and bar, The Nebraska Inn, which has a following

of over 2,000 Facebook followers- more than triple the population of Gross, Nebraska,

at its peak.

But both Monowi and Gross have some competition when it comes to the USAs most uninhabited

towns.

Pitcher in Oklahoma has earned the dubious title of being the most toxic place in the

United States.

Once the most productive lead and zinc mining town in the world it is now pretty much a

hazardous zone of abandoned buildings, and mining waste products.

Lead pollution has become a serious problem here.

Contaminated water from the mines infected the town and the townspeople developed outbreaks

of cancer.

The high school, city hall and post office all pulled down their shutters in 2009.

The one remaining resident died in 2015 and now Pitcher is officially a ghost town.

But Pitcher is not alone.

There are hundreds of ghost towns across the USA.

Most of these towns are built around mines that have been exhausted of their resources.

People go where the money is, Apart from Eiler of Monowi, who is quite happy being the towns

only resident.

So whats the least populated place that youve travelled to?

Ever been to a ghost town?

Let us know in the comments . Also, be sure to watch our other video calledWhat Happened

To Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?.

Thanks for watching, and as always, don't forget to like, share and subscribe, and as

ever, see you next time.

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