National Road


The National Road is America’s first federally funded interstate highway. The history of the road itself, the planning, construction and politics has been well documented over the last 200 years. The grand purpose of the Cumberland Road Project, instead, is to document the history of the people, families, businesses, towns and cities that grew alongside. 

Teutopolis National Road History – On November 21, 1912 a field representative of the National Old Trail Roads Ocean to Ocean Highway Association met with business people in Teutopolis and proposed the great highway which would connect the towns. February 13, 1919, the National Road was surveyed between Effingham and Teutopolis. Work on the National Road began in August of 1919 and was opened in December of that year, although it was still worked on until 1936.

Excerpts taken from the Teutopolis Press from 1912 to 1960.
11-21-12 Z.V. Dunlap, field representative of the national Old Trail Roads Ocean to Ocean Highway Association expects to meet with the business men Friday night of this week, at which time he will explain the proposition in detail in regards to the great highway, the towns along the National Road are to get.
05-22-13 The village board had a tank car of road oil shipped in the past week and had the same applied to the streets. This is done with the intentions of preventing the flying of dust this summer. The oil was spread on a large part of Main Street and several of the side streets. If it proves to do the work intended it should, other applications will be given.
09-17-14 PUBLIC LETTING: On Monday, September 21, 1914, the commissioners of Teutopolis township will receive bids for the hauling of 200 tons crushed rock, more or less, from Teutopolis to be delivered on the National Road, two miles west of Teutopolis. Commissioners of Highway: Henry Metten, Henry Lau Jr., Frank Buenker.
02-13-19 A body of surveyors are busy surveying the Old National Road between Effingham and Teutopolis, and further east being favored with fine weather and fine roads.
08-14-19 A horse belonging to the grading contractor of the National Trail Road and which was driven by Harry Morgan, the stable boss, became frightened Monday evening on Main Street when a  buggy shaft was broken which fell on its foot, causing it to run away. The vehicle was turned over throwing Mr. Morgan and Jos. Huber, Jr., out on the crushed rock, bruising them up considerably.
08-14-19 Work on the National Trail Road is being confined to the west end this week and is progressing nicely.
11-06-19 The merchants, as well as many others in Teutopolis, are wanting to know when the hard road in the city limits of Teutopolis will be opened for traffic. Now this is a difficult question to answer as no one seems to know-not even the headman on the job. They do say, however, that the government inspectors have to look over the road before it is opened.
12-04-19 The Old National Trails road through Teutopolis was opened to the public Tuesday.
03-11-20 Roadwork on the National Trails will soon be resumed. However, it will not be so soon as we expected, owing to the cold weather of the past week, which froze the ground to a considerable depth.
03-25-20 Work was progressing nicely on the Old National Trails up until Wednesday when it rained and there was nothing doing. Had the weather been favorable the work of putting down concrete would have commenced today, so we were informed by Peter Vera, superintendent of construction work.
05-20-20 Road work on the National Trails, which was beginning to move nicely the latter part of last week has been given another set back by the heavy rains of Sunday afternoon, Sunday night and Monday, which will delay progress for at least another week.
08-25-21 Sunday the National Road will be thrown open from Effingham to the Indiana State Line. Many of towns are going to celebrate the event.
03-01-33 EDN Businessmen along 11 between Terre Haute, Ind;;, and East St. Louis are organizing to ask the State Highway Department to minimize detouring of traffic from the National Highway this summer. The Old National Trail road will be resurfaced with brick and widened in various spots during about four months of work.
11-01-34 Work on the National Trails Road is moving right along in Teutopolis Township.
07-02-36 Starting Monday the Teutopolis village board began having the streets of Teutopolis coated with oil. The shoulders along Route 40 on Main Street as well as all other streets are being treated. This we
believe is a very good move by our city dads and will be appreciated by a majority of the citizens.
07-08-37 Representatives from various cities and towns along Route 40, the Old National Trails, met last Friday evening in the Vandalia City Hall to organize in the drive to widen the paved route across the state of Illinois. A four-lane highway is the goal set.
04-07-60 Preliminary work on the widening of the U.S. Route 40 through Teutopolis got underway Monday as workmen began lowering fire hydrants and water mains on Main Street in the village. Trees along Route 40 within the village limits will be taken down within the next few days. The work is being done by the Keiffer Brothers Construction Company of Kentucky.