History

 

 

history


Teutopolis, City of the Teutons, or Germans, was established in 1839 and is located on the Cumberland Trail known as the Old National Road and now U.S. Route 40. Teutopolis is located in the northeastern segment of Effingham County. It is the only town in the United States with this name. Teutopolis did not evolve as the accidental by-product of a trading post, church, inn, stage coach relay station, or junction of roadways or railroads but was the result of much thought and controversy, hard-headed economy, investigation, planning and a vast amount of patience. Clemens Uptmor from dukedom of Oldenburg, and kingdom of Hanover, Germany came to the United States in 1834 along with his brother Herman H. Uptmor and a few neighbors. They settled first in Cincinnati, then the gateway to the west for German Catholics. In 1837 they formed a land company for the purchase of government land under the name of “Deutche Land-Compagnie Oder Ansiedlungsgesellschaft.” John F. Waschefort, Clemens Uptmor and Gerard H. Bergfeld were named to find a location for settlement and then give their recommendations to the land company. The committee opposed settling in Missouri because of slavery and discouraged from settling in the north central area of Illinois because of the swamps and the black soil. The northeast part of Effingham County was recommended because of the woodlands, well-drained uplands and plentiful game. Gerhardt Meyer and Heinrich Roennebaum accompanied the original trio back to Illinois to inspect the proposed site. The location was approved and in July of 1839 in Vandalia the land was claimed for homestead purposes in the name of John F. Waschefort. 10,000 acres were purchased at $1.25 per acre with an additional 80 acres being purchased for $5.00 an acre. The town site was surveyed and platted by William J. Hankins. The plan of the town was very similar to the plat of the original town of Cincinnati. Back in Cincinnati the land was allotted at a drawing held in a fire engine house. For each $50.00 a member contributed he received 1 “in-lot” and 1 “out-lot” or “garden lot” in the town and an additional parcel of farmland for a total of 40 acres.


The first “Stars and Stripes” flown over Teutopolis was hand made by J.W. Pruemmer, Joseph Horn and John Meyer.
George Deyman carved wooden shoes for the people of the community for over 50 years. His tools are now in the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL.
1841 The first store and first windmill for grinding flour were opened by Clemens and Herman H. Uptmor and was located at the corner of Pearl and Vine Street.
1841 The first school house was built two blocks south of the cemetery. John Henry Rabe was the teacher and pupils were: Josephine and Catherine Pundsack, Marie Uptmor, Clem Uptmor II, Mary, Joseph and Francis Boeckmann, Fritz, Casper and Anthony Mindrup.
1842 Teutopolis received a post office. Clemens Uptmor was the first postmaster.
1845 Teutopolis was incorporated as a Village in 1845. The first election for 5 trustees was held at the Clemens Uptmor residence. The three election judges and two clerks sat on the polls from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and received 2 votes in addition to their own. The 5 election officials were elected village trustees, the 6th voter was named village constable and the 7th was appointed to the post of road commissioner. The president of the board received an annual salary of $2.00, the trustees received $1.50, and the road commissioner pay was set at 30 cents per day when working.
1845 The first settlers were imbued with a vast interest in political affairs. It was many years before anything other than a “Democratic” vote was cast in Teutopolis.
1845 Anton Rabe had the first tavern license within the village limits. The Village also had a 20 x 20 dance hall where the countryside gathered.
1846 The Indianapolis-St. Louis stage coach line initiated a change station at the Jacob Fulle’s inn, tavern and stable.
1848 The first major disaster – a tornado – struck the Village.
1851 The St. Louis and Indianapolis Telegraph Company built its line through the Village.
1851 The cornerstone for the church was laid by Bishop Van de Vilde.
1853 The completion of the church with the first mass being held on March 27th by the Reverend J. Weber, a missionary priest.
1858 The Franciscan Fathers arrived in Teutopolis.
1861 The cornerstone for the St. Joseph’s Seminary was laid and the seminary opened on September 16, 1862.
1861 The School Sisters of Notre Dame arrived in Teutopolis.
1865 The road from Teutopolis to Bishop was built.
1867 Race Street was surveyed and opened.
1867 Residents of the county lying south and west of Teutopolis were disturbed by a report that the “Dutchtown Catholics” were arming for a war of extermination on the Protestants in the vicinity. Spies confirmed that a cannon was being hauled into Teutopolis. At least one home guard company was formed in Mason to prepare to repel the invasion of the “Dutchtowners.” Later it was disclosed that the “big guns” were the pipes for the new church organ and the troops were disbanded. This was known as the “Dutchtown War.”
1883 Teutopolis acquired its first fire engine and organized a volunteer fire department.
1885 The Waschefort mill was destroyed by fire.
1888 The Village Hall was built. The bottom part served as the Fire Station with meetings held upstairs. The upstairs was also used as a school room and rented for moving picture shows.
1894 Blacksmith John Burford built the cells for the “lock-up” in the village hall.
1898 The Teutopolis Press was started.
1902 Dr. F.N. Hoffman, Teutopolis Physician and Village President, built the telephone system and established service between Teutopolis and surrounding communities.
1904 The Star Creamery was established. The creamery venture was never successful and was relatively short lived.
1909 The first automobile arrived in Teutopolis. The first to own the horseless carriages were Dr. Hoffman, Joseph Pudenz and Joseph Stilleke.
1911 The village board voted to rent the hall to the Board of Education for the high school for $3.00 a month for seven months. In 1912 the board voted to raise the amount to $4.00.
1916 Eastern Illinois Utility Company brought electricity to the Village.
1916 During World War 1 a government plain-clothes agent was stationed in the Village to ferret out German plotters in the most dangerously pro-German town and community in Illinois.
1919 C.J. Moritz Construction Company began work on paving the National Road. In 1958 improvements on Route 40 were made. The street was widened with sidewalk to sidewalk curbing and the installation of storm sewers. A great deal of controversy arose from this project. Residents objected to the removal of the trees along main street and parallel parking which was required by the state. Many thought the old style ditches were good enough.
1921 The board voted to rent the hall for a moving picture show one night a week for $14.00 a month.
1923 The Village Board received the contract from Ed Quatman to build two cisterns, one in the north part of town and one in the south for $135.00.
1924 The Cleaver Glove Company of Champaign opened a branch factory.
1937 Plans for a sewage system and disposal plant were started by Mayor Eugene Brumleve. The disposal plant was built on property in the north part of town near Salt Creek.
1939 The sewer plant was constructed by the WCP.
1941 An adequate well supply was found in the southeast part of the Village and the water system was in operation by the end of the year. In the middle 1950’s due to repeated water shortage crises a new well was located about three miles east of Teutopolis and lines were run from this supply to the purification plant.
1941 The Village Board voted against signing a 10 year contract with CIPS for street lighting and service for operation of the sewer and water plants. CIPS was furnishing service on a month to month basis. Teutopolis residents stated they intended to build their own municipal system.
1943 The local Knights of Columbus Council was installed.
1945 The American Legion Club was organized.
1946 Siemer Milling Company added four large grain storage tanks, new office and large scale.
1948 The community was formed into a fire protection district. The lower floor of the Village hall was remodeled as a firehouse and rented for a ten-year term.
1949 Teutopolis lost six residents to the fire at St. Anthony’s Hospital.
1950 The church was repaired and redecorated in anticipation of the celebration of the laying of the corner stone of the church.
1960 Natural gas was brought to the Village by C.I.P.S. and many residents installed gas-heating systems.
1961 The telephone system went dial.
1963 Teutopolis Fire Protection District moved from the 106 West Main to 200 West Main.
1964 The Post Office moved to the corner of Main and Pearl Street.
1967 Twenty mercury vapor lights were erected along village streets.
1967 A maintenance building was constructed on Green street.
1968 Franciscan Friars left Teutopolis.
1968 North and South Lift Stations was constructed.
1968 Clearwell was built at the water plant.
1969 Bell on top of the Village Hall was taken down and hall remodeled. The bell is currently located at the mini park by the church.
1969 Water Bonds were sold to update the water system.
1971 Sewer Bonds were issued for sewer improvements.
1971 Village passed the 1 ½ mile radius for zoning.
1973 Sixty acres was purchased for a lagoon system.
1974 Village Hall was remodeled and meetings moved downstairs.
1975 Monastery Museum founded.
1977 Sewer Lagoon was built.
1977 Green Street was cemented and storm sewer laid.
1979 A water transmission line from Effingham was constructed.
1980 Installation of flashing light at the intersection of Main and Pearl Streets.
1980 Jail at the Village Hall was taken out and remodeled into a police office.
1984 Water Tower on Harvester constructed.
1987 Teutopolis Park District was formed.
1989 Teutopolis Celebrated it’s 150th birthday.
1991 American Legion Post 924 constructed a new building on Plum Street.
1993 First Non Partisan election was held.
1996 Teutopolis established a Revolving Loan Fund.
1996 Harvester Street was completed.
2002 Lift Station on Plum Street undated.
2002 Village Garage at 106 West Main Street erected.
2004 New Water Tower on Oak Street constructed and tower behind Village Hall taken down.
2005 Teutopolis Community For Progress was formed.
2006 Main Street Water Main replacement started.
2007 Washington Street storm sewer was replaced.
2007 Fr. Vernon started Villages first recycling program.
2008 Force Main replaced from South Lift Station to Main Street.
2008 Work began to replace concrete sidewalk and parking area along Main Street.
2009 Fire Protection District moved from 200 West Main to 215 West Main.
2009 Veterans Memorial on Main and Plum Street was erected.
2009 Phase I and II Environmental Study of the Missing Mile project was started.
2010 Teutopolis Bike and Pedestrian plan adopted.
2010 Green Street Water Main was replaced.
2010 Box Culvert on Race Street installed.
2011 Village created its first website and facebook site.
2011 Village participated in the Peace Corps Fellows program.
2011 Raw Water Line east of Village replaced.
2011 Village adopted its first Comprehensive Plan.
2012 Runde Clinic expanded to include Kremer Pharmacy, a Radiology Department and an additional Doctor.
2012 Siemer Heritage House at 100 East Main Street was remodeled to include a media center on the bottom floor and apartment on the second floor.
2012 Siemer Milling Company replaced old grain storage units with 2 steel bins.
2012 Village constructed a new Maintenance Building on Green Street.
2012 Dollar General opened a store in Teutopolis.
2012 Subway opened at 500 West Main.
2013 Asphalting of Walnut Street was completed.
2013 Siemer Milling Company began construction of a new office building at 115 West Main Street.
2013 Designs Unlimited, Inc. added an addition to their existing business at 201 South Pearl Street.
2013 Teutopolis Locker Plant and Slaughter House closed its doors.
2013 Plans to construct a water transmission line from Newton to Teutopolis began with completion in 2014.
2014 Teutopolis celebrated it’s 175th (Terquascentennial) birthday the last week of July and first part of August. Hank Niebrugge and Chuck Deters along with hundreds of volunteers made the celebration a huge success. $235,000.00 was raised. $25,000 was set back for the 2039 celebration, $60,000 went to the Teutopolis Park District and $150,000 went to the TEF. (Teutopolis Education Foundation).
2014 Teutopolis joined the Effingham Regional Growth Alliance Group.
2014 Concrete was replaced in front of Siemer Milling Company, Siemer Heritage House and Fuesting’s Garage.
2014 Teutopolis created its first TIF district located along West Main Street.
2014 Construction began in Wooden Shoe Development Subdivision located along Main Street for a concrete road known as Commercial Drive.
2014 Redesigned Villages Website.
2014 Yard Waste Disposal program was implemented.
2015 Replacement of Storm Sewer Inlets was started.
2015 Three Phase generator was installed at the Water Plant.
2015 Elm Street from Pearl to Smith Street was asphalted.
2015 Fiber Optic lines were installed underground on Main Street by Consolidated Communications improving the schools and businesses internet service.
2015 New Squad Car and Administration Truck were purchased.
2015 Box Culvert on Oak Street installed.
2015 Process of Codifying Village Ordinances was started.
2015  Applied for a grant to replace Cast Iron Water Main Lines in the South part of the Village.
2015 Play Therapy and Counseling Services opened on Main Street in the former Teutopolis Press Office.
2015 The Shoe Box video gaming and bar opened.
2015 The Curl Bar fitness center opened on Main Street in the former Heuerman TV building.
2015 Incubator site was constructed inside the Village garage at 104 West Main.
2015 McMahon Meats opened in the Industrial Park at 1112 West Main.
2016 Waste Water Influent Main replaced.

Population totals:
1840 – 4 residents
1845 – 7 residents
1850 – 9 residents
1930 – 710 residents
1940 – 808 residents
1950 – 918 residents
1960 – 1100 residents
1970 – 1249 residents
1980 – 1400 residents
1990 – 1400 residents
2000 – 1600 residents
2010 – 1530 residents