Midwest Town With One Resident Doubles Its Population…Kind of
As the one remaining resident of Monowi, Nebraska, Elsie Eiler has become a legend. So much so that the United States Census Bureau was apparently concerned about her security and privacy despite her feeling perfectly content and safe as the town's lone ranger. So they added another resident...but only on paper.
WION reports that there are now TWO inhabitants of Monowi, but one is not real. The second "resident" is recorded under the name "Noise" (ironic, yes?). According to WION, a census taker told the Omaha News-Herald:
What you're seeing there is the noise we add to the data so you can't figure out who is living there. It protects the privacy of the respondent and the confidentiality of the data they provide
In Monowi, Elsie is the town mayor, clerk, and treasurer who "pays" herself taxes to keep Monowi an incorporated town. She also serves as the librarian, bartender, and "realtor" for anyone who might want to lay down roots on a vacant lot and join her as a resident. But she's in no hurry to welcome any neighbors, loving the ability to maintain her privacy while also telling anyone who wants to know about the growing mystique of her town and its story.
And so this one-person town in western Nebraska technically remains just that, leaving its fascinating mystique well intact. But, the purpose of adding the artificial resident, to increase Elsie's privacy, is now out, so it sort of defeats the purpose, right?
Want to keep up to date with the latest in local and music news? Download our app! It's completely free and you will be the first to know about breaking news, but we'll also keep you updated on concerts and other events coming to the area. You'll also have exclusive opportunities to win tickets. What are you waiting for? Get the free app today.