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“Don’t blink or you’ll miss it…”

Monowi, Nebraska

Mental Floss reports

Elsie Eiler may be in her seventies, but she can’t slow down. In addition to being Monowi’s sole resident, she’s also the town’s mayor, bartender, and librarian.  As you enter Monowi, the sign tells you that the population is two, but that number was cut in half when Eiler’s husband, Rudy, died of cancer in 2004. Rudy had been a voracious reader in addition to working as a farmer and a tavern keeper, and he amassed a collection of over 5,000 books. One of his last wishes was that Elsie turn the collection into a public library after his death, which she did; Rudy’s library is housed in a small white building near Elsie’s trailer.

Elsie’s days are busy; she maintains the bar, which draws thirsty drinkers and fans of her burgers from around the region, runs the library, and serves as the one-woman town’s mayor. She collects taxes from herself and makes an annual application for state road funds to keep the town’s four streetlights burning. Elsie’s can-do attitude has earned her some national recognition; Today has even come to shoot segments at her library.

Oddly, Census Bureau estimates from earlier this year estimated that Monowi’s population was two people. This second resident was news to Mayor Elsie Eiler. She quipped to the Associated Press, “Where’s this other person? Let me know. … I don’t want to come back to my house at 11 or 12 and see someone else there.”

Visit six other “Really Tiny Towns“…

As we get in touch with our inner Norman Rockwell, we might recall that it was on this date in 1926 that The College Board administered the first SAT exam.  Prepared by a committee headed by Princeton psychologist Carl Campbell Brigham, the multiple-choice test had sections of definitions, arithmetic, classification, artificial language, antonyms, number series, analogies, logical inference, and paragraph reading. It was administered to over 8,000 students at over 300 test centers.

The College Board had been had been administering exams since 1901; but it’s earlier assessments were based on essay responses that were graded “excellent”, “good”, “doubtful”, “poor” or “very poor.”

illustration: Sam Ward

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