Ruth got fascinated by small towns. By the time she researched those who reported a population of one, all but one had increased its population. The number of towns with only one resident had increased to 7 but only one remained with a single resident, Warm River, ID. The town that reported only one resident, Elsie Eiler, that began Ruth’s interest is a town in Nebraska called Monowi that is still on most maps but turned out to be a bit of a cheat. The single woman resident of Monowi who ran a tavern and talked about walking the streets of Monowi alone had died before the article was published. My intent to write about the 6 towns of very small population that remained including Hobart Bay, AL and Bonanza, CO, but they have all increased their populations. The population of Bonanza, for example, has increased to 15.
People are moving to small towns from cities for many reasons. Census figures show an exodus of people from big cities to be closer to nature, get away from crime, and achieve a slower pace. People are beginning to realize that there is more community spirit in smaller towns. Since the year 2014, an average of 30,000 residents between the ages of 25 and 39 have left big cities each year. In the age. of COVID, small towns are perceived as more affordable and places like Dixville Notch, NH benefit.
So I am left with 7 towns to report on. The town of Gross, NE increased its population to 3 in 2021. It’s an incorporated town near Monowi and not too far from the Missouri River in an area of Nebraska that seems to be unattractive to settlers. Warm River also reports a population of 3 as of 2021 making it the least populous town in Idaho. However, in the same year it claims to have a population of 1 It’s in the northeastern part of Idaho near Rexburg and is on maps. Tavistock, NJ in the same year is reporting a population of 7. It has a long profile on Wikipedia and lists 2 notable people, a businessman and a businesswoman, as being Tavistockians. Ruso, ND reports a population of 3 in 2021. Founded in 1906, its name means’ ‘south of us’ in Russian, but it lost its last business in 1956. Ruso is on my map south of Minot. Lotsee, OK has a population of 6. It is in the Tulsa area and consists entirely of a 2,000 acre cattle and pecan ranch. Centralia, PA, population 4, is described as a near ghost town in Columbia County. It’s population has declined from 1,000 in 1980 as the result of a coal fire under the town that has been burning since 1962. Thurmond, WV has a population of 3 and is described as a ghost town known for a record setting poker game. It’s not on my map of West Virginia probably because it’s a ghost town, and it’s near the town of Beckley.
To my knowledge, these are the smallest towns that exist in America at this time.