As with many small towns in the region, however, younger generations eventually moved away to larger cities. By the year 2000 the town’s population had dwindled to just two – made up of Rudy Eiler and his wife Elsie. And when Rudy passed in 2014 only Elsie remained.
Living such a solitary life can have its benefits. As the sole inhabitant of the town, Elsie is also its mayor. As such, she has the authority to issue herself a liquor license. And any taxes due return to her own pocket. Naturally, Leo Zanger’s family far outnumbers this tiny town.
In fact, Leo’s family members are almost equal to the population of the South Dakota town of Interior. Located on the fringes of Badlands National Park, the town is a convenient bolthole for exploring the parklands. As of 2016 its population was estimated to be 104. Just large enough, then, for the entire Zanger family.