Excerpt From Andreas' "1884 Historical Atlas of Dakota"
The press is well represented in this ambitious city. The pioneer journal was the North Dakota Inter Ocean, established in Devils Lake, March 31, 1883, when there was but one house (log), by H. C. Hansbrough, who still continues it. It is a five column quarto, handsomely got up and well conducted, with a good advertising patronage and subscription of 1,000. It is published in a well constructed building, 22 x 58 feet in dimensions, and fitted up with one of the best printing outfits in Dakota. Mr. Hansbrough is present Postmaster, having succeeded H. M Creel the first incumbent.
The Devils Lake Pioneer Press was established by Albert M Powell. Mr. Powell subsequently sold to his partner, and he in turn to H. M Creel, the present proprietor. Mr. Powell was for a time editor after Creel purchased the paper, in April, 1883. It is a seven-column folio, with an attractive heading including a miniature bird's-eye view of the Devils Lake region, and is well filled with choice miscellany and current news, and has a large advertising business.
The City of Devils Lake is the natural headquarters for the boating business of the lake. The first steamer on the lake was a small one belonging to the United States Government and used by the Fort Totten garrison.
The first regular steamer, the Minnie H., was built by Captain E E Herman, in the winter of 1882-3, at a cost of $30,000. She is a side-wheel boat, 110 feet in length, and handsomely fitted up after the manner of a first class Mississippi boat, and makes regular trips to all ports on the lake, including Fort Totten. She can also be chartered for pleasure parties and picnic excursions at reasonable rates. She uses wood for fuel, of which Captain H. owns an extensive tract. No intoxicating liquors are allowed on board.
The Arrow was brought by Captain Soper from Duluth to Bartlett by rail, and from thence to the lake on wheels. She is a crew propeller, of the tug pattern, remodeled into a passenger boat. There is plenty of sail and row boats, and every necessary accompaniment for pleasure and sporting parties. Navigation is generally open from May 1 to November 15th.
It is probable that the Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company will establish shops at Devils lake, as forty acres of land have been reserved by the company. Substantial passenger and freight buildings and round house are already completed.
It is the intention to extend the Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba road to the Turtle Mountain and Mouse River regions in the near future. The Valley City and turtle Mountain line, projected to cross the lake at Simrall's Pass, is quite certain to be built soon. The Jamestown and Northern, from Jamestown on the Jim River to the Turtle Mountains, is already running to the west end of the lake, and will soon be extended northward.
Other lines are projected, and it is probable that before many years Devils Lake will be the center of extensive system of railways and the greatest summer resort in Dakota. The outlook for its future is very promising.
The city contains at the present time a population of one thousand people, all active, energetic and intelligent, and its increase keeps pace with that of other live towns in Dakota. It is the established county seat, and being centrally situated will no doubt remain so. Its facilities and conveniences as a watering place and pleasure resort are unsurpassed.
Devils lake was incorporated as a village in the last week of February, 1884, and is now organized, with a president and board of trustees. The place is named City of Devils Lake. The post office is called simply Devils Lake and now all the names having the word Devil in them should be rejected, and the town, post office and station re christened with some good, sensible name, Indian or otherwise, unmixed with either Pagan or other superstition.