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Smallest U.S. village has gotten smaller

Jan. 28, 2004 at 4:42 PM

MONOWI, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Nebraska's and the nation's smallest incorporated village, Monowi, has gotten smaller after a 71-year-old man died of lung cancer.

The population of Monowi now stands at one.

Rudy Eiler and his wife, Elsie, had operated a tavern in Monowi since 1971, but he died on Jan. 18, reported the Omaha World Herald.

Monowi, located near the Missouri River about 90 miles northwest of Norfolk, Neb., had a population of 8 in 1990 according to the U.S. Census, but by 2000, the Eilers were the only remaining residents.

Rudy Eiler was the village board chairman, or unofficial mayor, and his wife was the clerk-treasurer.

"We've got one boss and one underling," Rudy Eiler said in 2000.

Elsie plans "for the time being" to operate the tavern.

The smallest village has gotten a lot of publicity over the years. It was featured on Paul Harvey's national radio show in 1992, in the Ken Burns documentary on Lewis and Clark and in the book, "Our Smallest Towns: Big Falls, Blue Eyes, Bonanza and Beyond."

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