Hazen P. Mooers

Aug. 3, 1789-April 3, 1857
In Tiŋta-otoŋwe and Prairieville 1846-1849
By David R. Schleper

In 1818, Mar-pi-ya-ro-to-win II married Hazen P. Mooers, an American who was sent to Minnesota to work with the American Fur Company in 1816.

Hazen was born near Plattsburgh, New York on Aug. 3, 1789, the son of Moses Hazen Mooers and Jemima Jackson. He was the fifth of 13 children. He lived and worked on their farm until he joined Aitken’s Volunteers, which repulsed an attack of the British. He received a rifle as a testimonial of his work.[1] He then headed to Prairie du Chien.

In Prairie du Chien, Hazen was employed by James Aird, a Scotchman. When Hazen was about 23, he married Mar-pi-ya-ro-to-win II (Grey Cloud Woman).

Hazen was a large and athletic man, courageous and even tempered. He was a trader who made much profit to the American Fur Company where they conducted a trading post at Big Stone Lake for 15 years. He would make annual trips to Prairie du Chien, carrying his gathering of furs bought, and getting a supply of goods to trade with the Dakota. In 1829 Hazen came down from Lake Traverse with one hundred and twenty-six packs of furs, with a value of twelve thousand dollars![2] In 1835, he established a post at Little Rock, five miles below Fort Ridgely.[3]

After years of traveling throughout the state to various trading posts, in approximately 1838, the family moved to Spirit Wood Island, which is now called Grey Cloud Island. Grey Cloud Island, about five miles long and one to two miles wide, is situated in the south end of Washington County, Minnesota, between St. Paul and Hastings.[4] Historical accounts surmise the move was made in order for Mar-pi-ya-ro-to-win II (Grey Cloud Woman) to be closer to relatives in a large Black Dog Village, directly across the river, while Hazen could establish a trade center. Thanks to the strong influence of his wife, he was able to traffic with three bands of the Dakota Indians.

In the fall of 1846, Hazen and Mar-pi-ya-ro-to-win II moved to Tiŋta-otoŋwe and lived there among the tipi tanka (or bark lodges) and a few tioti or two until the spring of 1849. The house was built in the fall of 1846, and located just as you arrived on Highway 101 into downtown Shakopee. It was located on the right side as you head west, close to the duck pond. The location is also located about 10 rods, or 55 feet, north of Reverend Samuel W. Pond and Cordelia Eggleston Pond’s house (which would be built the next year). Hazen was appointed an Indian farmer, which provided him land there to farm.

Hazen and Mar-pi-ya-ro-to-win II moved out in the spring of 1849. (Hazen’s son, Kahoton, continued to live in Tiŋta-otoŋwe, and was an Indian farmer for the government until the spring of 1853.) Mar-pi-ya-ro-to-win II, known as Grey Cloud Woman, died on July 20, 1849 at Black Dog Village, a village of her Dakota relatives.

Hazen and his son, Kahoton John Mooers, decided to move north in 1853. Hazen secured a contract for erecting the first government buildings at the Lower Sioux Agency.

Hazen later married Ellen Stafford (1815-1893) in November 1853 at the Lower Sioux Agency. Hazen and Ellen Mooers had one child named Ellen Mooers, who was born March 10, 1855 at the Lower Sioux Agency and has been reported as the first white child to be born in Redwood County. Once Hazen completed his work, he retired to a small farm home in the valley just below Fort Ridgely.

Hazen died April 3, 1857 at the age of 68 years old and was buried at the local cemetery.[5] He was one of the first white people who lived in the area later called Shakopee.

[1] From Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume XV, 1915, pg. 372.

[2] Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume 2, pg. 119 at archive.org/stream/collections02minnuoft#page/119/mode/1up

[3] “Historical notes of Grey Cloud Island and its vicinity” archive.org/stream/historicalnoteso00caserich/historicalnoteso00caserich_djvu.txt

[4] Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume XV, pg. 371.

[5] Learning About the U.S. – Dakota War at midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/history_heritage/frontier_history/dakota_war_1862_minnesota.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *