Hay River Township was set off from the Town of Sherman on June 28th, 1879. Settlers acquired their land by buying it from the railroad, homesteading it, or having it awarded as payment for services in the War of 1812.
The Norwegian settlers formed the Hay River Lutheran Church on September 20th, 1875. The town board purchased two acres for $20 in April 1882 for a cemetery and later that year formed a Cemetery Association. In 1904 Andrew Baxter built a general store in the big Beaver area later to be known as Baxterville. In 1908 A creamery was started across the road from the store, in later years it produced cheese.