Published on July 7, 2014 by Amy
The Devils Lake Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs was formed in 1871 and was located in North Dakota. It served the Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Cut Head (Pabaska) Sioux living on the Devils Lake Reservation in Dakota Territory. Beginning in 1884, it also served the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Indians. In 1906 it became known as the Fort Totten Agency.
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William H. Forbes January 23, 1871, Paul Beckwith August 7, 1875, and James McLaughlin June 8, 1876
The records kept by this agency continued as part of the Fort Totten Agency records, some of which are available at the Central Plains Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Kansas City.
Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Devils Lake Agency, 1871-1880, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234, rolls 281-284. Copies are available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, the South Dakota State Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers.
Reports of Inspection of the Field Jurisdictions of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1873-1900 have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of Microcopy Number M1070. The reports for Devils Lake Agency, 1874-1900, are on roll 10 of that Microcopy set. Copies are available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, and at the Family History Library and its family history centers.
Annual Indian Census Rolls were taken at this agency from 1885-1890 and 1892 thru 1905. These rolls have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M595, rolls 94-97. Copies of these records are also available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, the South Dakota State Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers. These census rolls are also available online at Ancestry.com’s subscription web site.
The 1900 federal census included population schedules for the Devils Lake Indian Reservation. The census includes the non-Indian employees of the Devils Lake Agency, as well as many pages of Indian Population Schedules for the native population of the Reservation. They are recorded as District 263, Devils Lake Indian Reservation, in Benson County, North Dakota.
Listings of the Indians living on the Devils Lake Indian Reservation in 1915 and 1925 are included in the state census of North Dakota. The major portion of the 1915 enumeration is filed under the various districts of Sioux County. However, there are many Indian families and individuals enumerated in other counties, as well. The 1925 census includes listings for the Devils Lake Reservation filed under the subdivision of “Tribe Devils Lake Sioux.”