Gross was established in 1893 by homesteader Ben Gross and his wife, who opened a general store there.
In anticipation of the railroad coming through, a bustling town developed, and by 1904 Gross was home to multiple businesses, churches and factories, in addition to 600 residents.
However, the railroad ended up bypassing Gross, and there was an immediate exodus.
Monowi is remarkable in one respect: According to the 2010 United States Census, it’s the smallest town in America. Monowi is the nation’s only incorporated place to boast a population of exactly one. Monowi, Nebraska is, for now, one of a kind.
Just five miles from the South Dakota border stands a grain elevator, an abandoned schoolhouse and church, and a few vacant homes.
This is Monowi, a perfectly ordinary prairie village founded in 1902 and given the Indian name for the wildflower we call “snow-on-the-mountain.”