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The Staley Museum in Decatur, Illinois

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.

Reserve the Museum

Reserve the Museum

Staley Topics

Visit the Staley Museum

The Staley Museum is open year-round
Tuesday – Saturday: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Last Sunday of the month (March – November): 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Admission
Adults: $3
17 & under: $1

Location
361 N. College Street
Decatur, IL

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 Office Building: Inaugurated in April, 1930
Also known as “The Castle in the Cornfields”
Photo courtesy of the Hieronymus Mueller Museum

Staley office building

The Staley Office Building: Inaugurated in April, 1930
Also known as “The Castle in the Cornfields”
Photo courtesy of the Hieronymus Mueller Museum

Staley Museum Latest News & Happenings

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Some of you that participated this past Saturday in Historic Preservation Week may have received this limited edition penny commemorating Decatur’s Fan’s Field.
As with so many valuable and nostalgic landmarks in Decatur, Mr. Staley also gave his support to provide this home field for Decatur Baseball.
He provided financial help and even threw the first pitch at the first game. For his aid & support he was awarded a lifetime pass to the field. ♥️
... See MoreSee Less

May 20th, 7:00 pm
Some of you that participated this past Saturday in Historic Preservation Week may have received this limited edition penny commemorating Decatur’s Fan’s Field. 
As with so many valuable and nostalgic landmarks in Decatur, Mr. Staley also gave his support to provide this home field for Decatur Baseball. 
He provided financial help and even threw the first pitch at the first game.  For his aid & support he was awarded a lifetime pass to the field.  ♥️Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Fond memories of Fan's Field and Crane Potato Chips

Staley Was Here!
The Staley Library
Today is commencement for the Millikin University Class of 2024!
Mr. Staley was surprised to see how much the campus had grown and changed since his lifetime… but even more surprising was seeing his name above the library entrance
The Staley Library was dedicated May 21, 1978, commencement day for that year’s graduating class
The Staley family and the Staley Mfg. donated 2.1 million dollars to help make this facility available to Millikin University students and the Decatur community.
Mr. Staley could not have been more proud to see how his descendants and his company made supporting education a priority.
While Staley’s formal education was limited, the school of life taught him plenty. In 1940 just months before he passed, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Millikin University in recognition of his many achievements as an industrialist.
Amanda Pippitt, Library Director, is pictured with Mr. Staley.
Please join Mr. Staley & The Staley Museum in congratulating this years graduates!
... See MoreSee Less

May 18th, 9:30 am
Staley Was Here! 
The Staley Library 
Today is commencement for the Millikin University Class of 2024!  
Mr. Staley was surprised to see how much the campus had grown and changed since his lifetime… but even more surprising was seeing his name above the library entrance 
The Staley Library was dedicated May 21, 1978, commencement day for that year’s graduating class 
The Staley family and the Staley Mfg. donated 2.1 million dollars to help make this facility available to Millikin University students and the Decatur community.  
Mr. Staley could not have been more proud to see how his descendants and his company made supporting education a priority. 
While Staley’s formal education was limited, the school of life taught him plenty.  In 1940 just months before he passed, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Millikin University in recognition of his many achievements as an industrialist. 
Amanda Pippitt, Library Director, is pictured with Mr. Staley. 
Please join Mr. Staley & The Staley Museum in congratulating this years graduates!Image attachmentImage attachment+4Image attachment

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Congratulations, Graduates! And to Mr. Staley on his honorary degree.

Congratulations Millikan students

Where will Mr. Staley be tomorrow?
Here is a hint…
He will be Celebrating the class of 2024!
Congratulations Graduates!🎓
... See MoreSee Less

May 17th, 7:00 pm
Where will Mr. Staley be tomorrow?
Here is a hint… 
He will be Celebrating the class of 2024! 
Congratulations Graduates!🎓Image attachment

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Millikin

Don’t Forget!
Happening this Saturday!
Staley Museum Hours 1-4 pm
... See MoreSee Less

May 16th, 7:00 pm
Don’t Forget! 
Happening this Saturday! 
Staley Museum Hours 1-4 pm

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Excellent

⭐️Save the Date⭐️
Tour the Iconic Office Building with us on July 18, 2024.
Information on tickets and the event coming soon!
... See MoreSee Less

May 15th, 10:00 am
⭐️Save the Date⭐️
Tour the Iconic Office Building with us on July 18, 2024. 
Information on tickets and the event coming soon!

8 CommentsComment on Facebook

Can't wait to hear more!

Very interested.

Looking forward to hearing more about this!

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