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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.

News & Happenings

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

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Saturday June 12th

Love gardening? The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Master Gardeners will be on hand at our Garden Party this June 26th from 1pm to 4pm. Come out and enjoy the garden with some tasty refreshments, then cool off inside the museum! ... See MoreSee Less

Love gardening? The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaigns Master Gardeners will be on hand at our Garden Party this June 26th from 1pm to 4pm. Come out and enjoy the garden with some tasty refreshments, then cool off inside the museum!Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Sounds interesting

Haley

Shannon Suhl don't forget😊

Tuesday June 8th

Our handicap accessible ramp will be closed this week for maintenance.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
... See MoreSee Less

Friday June 4th

Be sure to check out this story in the latest issue of Decatur Magazine about our sister museum, the Hieronymus Mueller Museum, and their Mueller-Benz automobile, the first car to drive the streets of Decatur, and was one of only two cars to finish the first American automobile race. #muellermuseum #hieronymusmueller #decatur #decaturhistory #staleymuseum #illinoishistory #historymuseum #enjoyillinois ... See MoreSee Less

Be sure to check out this story in the latest issue of Decatur Magazine about our sister museum, the Hieronymus Mueller Museum, and their Mueller-Benz automobile, the first car to drive the streets of Decatur, and was one of only two cars to finish the first American automobile race.  #muellermuseum #hieronymusmueller #decatur #decaturhistory #staleymuseum #illinoishistory #historymuseum #enjoyillinoisImage attachment
Saturday May 22nd

Today's the day! 🎉🎉🎉 ... See MoreSee Less

Todays the day! 🎉🎉🎉
Saturday May 8th

Make sure to put our first event of the year on your calendar! You won't want to miss out on this! ... See MoreSee Less

Make sure to put our first event of the year on your calendar! You wont want to miss out on this!

Comment on Facebook

Would you make a fb event for this so I can add to my online calendar and share?

Friday May 7th

Great picture and post from History of the Heartland!Dignitaries gathered around home plate prior to the very first game at Fans Field, 94 years ago today, Opening Day, on May 5, 1927. 7200 fans were in attendance despite threatening rain. The Decatur High School band was on hand in their red coats.

Legendary Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw "Mountain" Landis stands next to A.E. Staley on the far left. Staley was instrumental in Decatur's acceptance into the "3I" league, and a key organizer of the Fans Field site committee.

Also on hand is William Veeck, Sr., President of the Chicago Cubs (and father of baseball promoter Bill Veeck) on the other side of Staley.

Photo: Decatur Public Library

Also See: The Staley Museum
... See MoreSee Less

Great picture and post from History of the Heartland!
Thursday May 6th

Something exciting! ... See MoreSee Less

Something exciting!
Friday April 9th

Verses by Emma Staley was published privately in 1938 and includes 43 original poems. Only one hundred copies were printed by The Lakeside Press R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company of Chicago. This book showcases only a small selection of Emma’s poetry. ... See MoreSee Less

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