About This Place
Teutopolis is a village in Effingham County, Illinois.
Teutopolis is located at 39°7′56″N 88°28′42″W / 39.13222°N 88.47833°W / 39.13222; -88.47833 (39.132125, -88.478435). According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km²), all of it land.
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 "Deutsche 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.