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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.

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

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It’s National Christmas Light Day and we’re doing our best to get the museum all dressed up for the holidays! Have you decorated yet?

Picture from Christmas 2020.
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December 1st, 10:00 am
It’s National Christmas Light Day and we’re doing our best to get the museum all dressed up for the holidays! Have you decorated yet? 

Picture from Christmas 2020.

Holiday shopping? Give the gift of local history and stop by our gift shop today! We have lots of items that are great for stockings!

Tuesday - Saturday 1 to 4pm
Admission $3/adult, $1/child
Contact us at: 217-422-1212 or info@staleymuseum.com for more information.
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November 26th, 10:00 am
Holiday shopping? Give the gift of local history and stop by our gift shop today! We have lots of items that are great for stockings! 

Tuesday - Saturday 1 to 4pm
Admission $3/adult, $1/child
Contact us at: 217-422-1212 or info@staleymuseum.com for more information.

Comment on Facebook

Can I order a Staley Ball over the phone and pay for shipping? PLEASE

How much are these? Both of my grandpas, my uncles and lots of cousins worked there. Would love to have this as a keepsake.

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November 24th, 10:00 am

A Staley tradition continues with A. E. Staley’s family from his native area. A. E. Staley’s great-nephew, Randy Garner, made this coconut cream pie from the 1926 recipe in the Staley Journal for their Thanksgiving celebration out east. Randy still owns part of the farm that A. E. Staley grew up on in North Carolina. What a delicious dessert they will have! ... See MoreSee Less

November 23rd, 12:34 pm
A Staley tradition continues with A. E. Staley’s family from his native area.  A. E. Staley’s great-nephew, Randy Garner, made this coconut cream pie from the 1926 recipe in the Staley Journal for their Thanksgiving celebration out east.  Randy still owns part of the farm that A. E. Staley grew up on in North Carolina.  What a delicious dessert they will have!Image attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

That was my first one but it will not be the last. It really is delicious. The next one will look better I am sure. Not bad for a recipe from 1926.

Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Wow! Very cool! Every Thanksgiving, employees would get free coconut pies made from coconuts from Mr Staley’s home in Florida. I can find the Staley Journal article if you want.

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November 21st, 6:00 pm
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