061814-dec-lif-sternamans1 (copy)

The 1920 Decatur Staleys team was highly successful, winning 10 games, losing one and tying one in the newly formed 12-team American Professional Football Association. The team was renamed the Chicago Bears in 1922. Edward "Dutch" Sternaman is pictured in the back row. 

DECATUR — The Chicago Bears will have a “Return to Decatur” event July 20 and 21 to honor the team’s 100 years.

Details of the weekend are still being planned. Bears general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy are scheduled to be part of the event.

The Chicago Bears originated in 1919 as the Decatur Staleys, one of the NFL’s original franchises. Two years later, they were sold to George Halas and became the Chicago Bears.

The Staley Museum, 361 N. College St., has a room dedicated to the Decatur Staleys and their history, including photos and uniforms. Events are also planned there. 

The football team was started by A.E. Staley Manufacturing in Decatur for employees that eventually hired professional players.

The anniversary kicked off with the Bears 100 Celebration Weekend June 7-9 in Rosemont.

Events also are planned in the cities that had original NFL teams: Hammond and Muncie, Indiana; Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Buffalo and Rochester, New York; Chicago; Detroit; and Rock Island. 

The NFL's 100th Season will start when the Bears host the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 5. ​Additionally, the team will be honoring each decade at preseason and regular-season home games. The Decatur era will be the focus of the Aug. 8 game against the Carolina Panthers. 

GALLERY: Looking back at the Decatur roots of the Chicago Bears 🏈

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Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR


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