Hawley is a town in Clay County, Minnesota, United States, along the Buffalo River. The population was 2,067 at the 2010 census. The town went through six quick name changes after 1871 until, in 1872, it was finally named after Thomas Hawley Canfield, an officer in the Northern Pacific Railway, which laid out the town. General Custer visited the town in 1876. In 2007, the town started an ad campaign called "Hawley Would" (a homophonic play on words of "Hollywood"). The campaign focuses on both the small-town atmosphere of Hawley and its proximity to the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area; Hawley is 22 miles from downtown Fargo.
Hawley was at one time settled by a colony of immigrants from Yeovil, Somerset; among these was Elisabeth Chant, later to become a painter in Minneapolis.
Hawley is east of Moorhead, at the intersection of the Buffalo River, U.S. Route 10, and the Burlington Northern Railroad. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.53 square miles (6.55 km2), all of it land. It is located in Vikingland of Minnesota, and has a number of pasture and farmlands nearby.
The land is flat (mostly treeless) farmland west of the city, and more hilly-forested land to the east.