The Staley Museum
The Staley Museum opened its doors to the public during the summer of 2015. We are excited be a full-fledged member of our community. Here you will find updates and news about the museum and exciting events going on.
The Staley Museum and this web site are both works in progress. We encourage visitors to continue to check back with us and see how we are progressing. We would also like to encourage visitors to the site to share any stories or information they may have regarding Staley history.
Photos, documents, articles and memorabilia are all welcome and appreciated. Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the Staley museum may contact us through via the Artifact Donation Form found on this site. Also, for anyone in our area who wishes to be a Volunteer at the museum and offer their time and/or expertise, please go to the Volunteer Form and fill out your information so that we may contact you personally. We invite you to Contact Us.
The Staley Museum is open year round; Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, and on the last Sunday of the month (March – November) from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
The Staley Story
A.E. Staley was a big man with big dreams and had the determination to make those dreams a reality. Although he did not arrive on the scene until the 1900’s, his impact of Decatur was such that he is counted as one of the founding fathers. The largeness of his dreams and of his civic minded generosity has contributed in major ways to the city we know today.
It was A.E.’s pioneering vision in the area of soy beans, both the cultivation and processing, that gave Decatur the name “Soy Bean Capitol of the World.”
In the period of one decade, 1920-1930, A.E. Staley made significant contributions to the community of Decatur, being the driving force behind the creation of Lake Decatur, the Staley viaduct, the Staley Office Building, and the formation of the Decatur Staleys football club, later to become the Chicago Bears.
The story of A.E. Staley is one in which the city of Decatur has the right to feel great pride. It is a story which forms a major part in the industrial and agricultural history of central Illinois. We look forward to sharing that pride and history as we work toward the opening of the Staley Museum.
The Staley Museum on Facebook
Tuesday October 11th
More about visiting the Staley Museum in the latest issue available now. ... See MoreSee Less
Sunday September 25th
From the Staley Journal in October 1939. Display of Staley products at the E. F. Smith market in Los Angeles. ... See MoreSee Less
Tuesday September 6th
From the Staley Fellowship Journal in 1919, everyone pitching in on the job as the caption states: "Tray makers, demonstrating that's a girl can drive a nail as well as a man (or better)." ... See MoreSee Less
Monday September 5th
Happy Labor Day! Here's a photo from 1917 of employees with A. E. Staley. Photo from the Herald & Review. Read more about who is in this picture on the H&R webpage at herald-review.com/gallery/history/photos-staley-employees/collection_703a055f-861e-5015-b2c7-3fdb... ... See MoreSee Less
Monday August 22nd
The Staley Museum updated their cover photo.
A. E. Staley meets with Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor in 1920 as the Roosevelts visited Decatur during the Vice-Presidential campaign. FDR was on the ticket with James Cox. They were defeated by Warren G. Harding and his running mate Calvin Coolidge. Thirteen years later FDR would be inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States. A. E. Staley is on the right. The man on the left is George E. Chamberlain, the company's General Superintendent. ... See MoreSee Less