Only 5 People Live in Minnesota’s Smallest Town
Only in the smallest town would Main Street be a dead end road with three houses on it.
Funkley, Minnesota has the claim to fame of being the smallest town in Minnesota. Located in Beltrami County, about a 40 minutes North East of Bemidji. The town was incorporated in 1904 as a junction on the Minnesota and International Railway. The tiny town was named after Henry Funkley, a county attorney.
According to the Beltrami County Historical Society the town was once buzzing with action:
In the early 1900’s, the town was buzzing with logging action, its population peaking in 1930 at 60 people.
In 1953, the Pacific Mills (a textile manufacturer treated the entire town to an all-expense paid, 5-day sight-seeing trip to New York City as a way of saying thanks to a local organization. The Women’s Missionary Society of the Evangelical Free Church would have monthly meetings where they would tear up old bed sheets into medical dressings for the American Cancer Society.
LIFE Magazine wrote an article about this town-wide trip. All but two people stayed behind, Richard Smith, a 72-year-old man said he couldn't go because "his feet were on the bum", and 80-year-old Hank Huffstutler, who claimed Funkley had just as much to offer as New York. Hank added:
I was there in 1900. It's just a lot of concrete.
During the 2010 Census, Funkley had 5 people total living in city limits, down from 15 in the 2000 Census. The weirdest part is that there were 5 people, 5 households, and 0 families living in the city. Which means the population potentially could have doubled if everyone got married.
As it is right now, Funkley has a bar, aptly named the Funkley Bar. But that is about it. If you are headed north at all in 2020 and looking for a quiet place with an interesting past to grab a drink, Funkley is your town.
Abbey is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekdays from 2-7 PM.