Located in east-central Marathon County, the village of Hatley received its name from a Canadian lumberman named Matthew Wadleigh. Wadleigh named the village after his home in Hatley, Quebec, which is located in the southern part of the Province.
The Village of Hatley was formed with the issuance of two land grants: one issued to John Z. Smith on May 27, 1857 by President James Buchanan; another issued to Stanley C. Rogers and signed by President James Buchanan on April 11, 1859.
In 1879, the Lake Shore Traffic Company (later named the Chicago and Northwestern Railway), built a rail line through the village. Once the railroad was established, the village of Hatley grew.
On December 13, 1881, a Post Office was established in the village. The post office is still in service today and extends service to surrounding communities.