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 April 9th
Celebrating three years! Thank you to the community and our patrons who have supported the museum since we cut the ribbon three years ago today. We have much more ahead as we finish repairs from our lightning strike, and get set to open new exhibits. Much more is ahead! Missing our co-founder Grant Staley. We know he is sending us blessings from above. ... See MoreSee Less
I was there!
Monday April 8th
Exactly 100 years ago this was one of the featured photos in the Staley Journal, then called the Staley Fellowship Journal. The April 1919 issue featured the corn storage tanks at the plant. By then, the company had been operating for seven years. Did you know you can read nearly every copy of the Staley Journal from 1917-1956? They’re on our website at staleymuseum.com. ... See MoreSee Less
I believe that is Elevator A. I operated and transferred millions of pounds of corn from elevator A to the Steep House and on into the Mill House where the corn grinding and separating of the four components of corn (starch,gluten,germ,fiber) took place. The elevator was old when I ran it in my earlier years (1978-2014) but it served it’s purpose well!
Tuesday April 2nd
Repairs are underway once again! For the time being, please access the building through the handicap ramp located in the parking lot. ... See MoreSee Less
Very glad to see this progress!!!!
Tuesday March 12th
Laura L. Hilvety
Friday February 1st
It’s National Wear Red Day for the American Heart Association! The Staley Museum is honored to have hosted the first ever Go Red for Women event in Decatur. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Wear red today and get the word out! #wearredday #nationalwearredday ... See MoreSee Less