Staley Museum: Touchstone of Decatur

Jun 28, 2019

Hello, I’m Josh Gujjarlapudi for NPR Illinois Podcamp 2019.

The name Staley is well-known throughout Decatur and the state of Illinois. A.E. Staley was a prominent businessman and the first owner of the Chicago bears Julie Staley, the wife of Mr. Staley's great-grandson, is the president of the Staley Museum.

  

“We are located in Decatur and basically it preserves the history and legacy for A.E. Staley and he was the founder of the Staley Manufacturing Company.”

“Walks you through the history of not just how he built the company and what it has become today, but about his personal life because many, many people know about how A.E. Staley was working through the company but a lot of people don’t know about his personal life, what the family is like and today there still is a family legacy there, we still have a charitable foundation there that not only contributes to Decatur, but also Springfield, Central Illinois, some state and national organizations, and we try to be part of the foundation of holding charitable organizations the state of Illinois that serve the public in Decatur and other areas.”

Some of the organizations helped by the foundation include the American Heart Association, the United Way, and the Ronald McDonald House. 

Julie is also able to give back to the community in other ways. She was a television journalist for many years which lends itself to serving as a spokesperson and emcee for many events. 

“I really enjoy being able to use what I’ve been given, skills I learned, and be able to give it back to the community and help other people learn from that, grow from that whether it’s an individual, or an organization, or the community as a whole.”

As president of the Staley Museum, Julie recognizes how it preserves the history of both the community and her family. 

“Obviously, I am honored yeah, very proud of the family history, very honored about that. I feel like our job right now is to preserve that and to keep that in the forefront for the community.”

For NPR Illinois pod camp, I’m Josh Gujjarlapudi.

 

Josh Gujjarlapudi and Julie Staley
Credit Chloe Bellot / NPR Illinois