A. E. Staley was a Decatur, Illinois based processor of corn founded in 1898. It changed its name to Staley Continental in 1985. It produced a range of starch products for the food, paper and other industries, high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose (under the brand name Krystar), ethanol (fuel) and other agro-industrial products. A. E. Staley Manufacturing Company was the center of a controversy in 1992 when the company locked out hundreds of workers after the workers had rejected a contract amid accusations by management of destruction and tampering of company property and equipment.


Augustus Eugene Staley (25 February 1867 – 26 December 1940)[1] founded a sales company for food starch in Baltimore in 1898. On 6 November 1906,[2] he bought a factory in Decatur, Illinois in order to start the production of food starch. The factory began processing on March 12, 1912.[3]

The company has produced many famous household brands including Staley Pancake and Waffle Syrup, Sta-Puf fabric softener, and Sta-Flo liquid starch. The two latter brands were subsequently sold to Dial.

A. E. Staley Manufacturing was one of the largest processors of corn in the United States, second only to the Archer Daniels Midland Corporation, also based in Decatur, Illinois. It also processed soybeans under a partnership agreement with Archer Daniels Midland at its Decatur, Illinois plant.

In 1985, A. E. Staley purchased CFS Continental, a wholesale grocery company, for $360 million. A. E. Staley stated a need to diversify away from bulk food processing. After the acquisition, A. E. Staley changed its name to Staley Continental.[4]

In 1988, British company Tate & Lyle acquired 90% of A. E. Staley for $1.42 billion. Prior to the purchase, Tate & Lyle announced that it planned to sell CFS Continental to SYSCO, another wholesale grocer, for $700 million to help fund the acquisition.[5] In 2000, Tate & Lyle acquired the remaining 10% of A. E. Staley.

Chicago Bears football teamEdit

In March of 1920 a man telephoned me ... George Chamberlain and he was general superintendent of the A.E. Staley Company ... In 1919, [the company's Fellowship Club] had formed a football team. It had done well against other local teams but Mr. Staley wanted to build it into a team that could compete successfully with the best semi-professional and industrial teams in the country ... Mr. Chamberlain asked if I would like to come to Decatur and work for the Staley Company.
George Halas, in his book Halas by Halas.[6]

Staley founded a company football team, the Decatur Staleys, in 1919. The players worked as semi-professionals in his factory. The team was a charter member of what became the National Football League in 1920. In 1921, Staley turned the team over to George Halas, who moved it to Chicago, changing the team name to the Chicago Bears a year later.[7] The team's mascot since 2003 is Staley Da Bear.[8]

Further readingEdit

  • Steven K. Ashby and C. J. Hawking. Staley: The Fight For A New American Labor Movement. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252076404.

References Edit

  1. A. E. Staley Manufacturing Company (1922 - 1980s): Work with Soy
  2. Business Policies & Decision Making - Google Books
  3. Augustus Eugene Staley - Tate & Lyle
  4. [1] Nordlund: man behind Staley-CFS Continental deal - Donald Nordlund Nation's Restaurant News, Nov 5, 1984 by Don Jeffrey Retrieved February 9, 2011
  5. TATE & LYLE TO SELL CFS TO SYSCO CORP.; [NATIONAL, C Edition]Liz Sly. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill.: Jun 7, 1988. pg. 1 Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  6. Halas, George; Gwen Morgan and Arthur Veysey (1979). Halas By Halas. McGraw Hill. pp. 53–54.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
franchise created
Decatur/Chicago Staleys principal owner
Succeeded by
George Halas
de:A. E. Staley
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