SEVERE WX : Freeze Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

This Nebraska town -- population 2 -- grew to 10 times its size for a Thanksgiving feast

The welcome sign reads "Gross, Pop. 2," but one of America's smallest towns has a lot more heart and holiday...

Posted: Dec 4, 2018 6:14 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 6:14 PM

The welcome sign reads "Gross, Pop. 2," but one of America's smallest towns has a lot more heart and holiday spirit than its size suggests.

In its heyday, the tiny town of Gross, Nebraska, was home to more than 600 people. But when railways and highways were built, they skipped right over Gross.

Continents and regions

Holidays and observances

Midwestern United States

Nebraska

North America

Population and demographics

Population trends

Society

Thanksgiving

The Americas

United States

After neighbors moved away and children moved out, just two people, Mary and Mike Finnegan, still call the town home. For 33 years, the couple and their restaurant, The Nebrask Inn, have kept Gross on the map.

But this year, the town grew to 10 times its usual size when the couple, with help from Ancestry.com, organized a Thanksgiving feast to bring their family back together just before the holidays.

The genealogy website's researchers also scoured historical records to find descendants of the town founders -- the Gross family -- who were invited to the meal as surprise guests.

Reunions and celebrations are not unusual in Gross, which despite its teeny population has a constant stream of friends and visitors passing through its 80 acres to eat at the Finnegans' restaurant, famous for Mary's pan-fried chicken and coffee that costs a nickel. On Mondays, Mary bakes 10 homemade pies, which sell out by Tuesday evening.

"Gross is kind of the heart of the community," she said. "It's where everyone meets and has coffee to discuss the problems and the blessings of the day. It's just a very home-oriented place."

On the real Turkey Day, however, the town will have no one home at all.

The Finnegans' son-in-law, a police officer in a nearby Nebraska town, has to work on Thanksgiving, and the couple plans to drive to their daughter's house so they can celebrate together.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Kokomo
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 41°
Rensselaer
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 33°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 37°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 38°
Monticello
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 38°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 43°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events