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Four Paw Farrington

10/2/2004:

Credit for founding the town of Hazen is linked to two different people. Alexander or “Sandy” Roberts squatted on the location in the fall of 1882 and, two years later, he filed for a post office to be named Hazen. The U.S. government granted his request, and the following year, Hazen went on the map– even though it would be another 29 years before it became a town.

The other founder was a man they called “Four Paw.” That sounds Native-American, but Four Paw was Irish; his real name was Richard Farrington. At one point, he and his brother had Mercer County’s biggest ranch – Hazen sits on the original homestead. Farrington got his nickname during his days as a traveling acrobat in the Forepaugh Circus. Although Forepaugh was spelled f-o-r-e-p-a-u-g-h, Farrington’s friends turned it into two words: Four Paw, like the number of dogs’ feet.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm