Chicago Bears Traditions

History by Decades

Highlights from the 1920s

George Halas founded pro football and the Decatur Staley's in 1920 and set membership at $100 per club. The Staley's posted a 10-1-2 record in that inaugural season as each player earned $1,900 for the season. The Bears won their first title the next season (1921) with a 9-1-1 mark and went on to post winning records in all but one season in the entire decade (1929: 4-9-2). The first major signing took place in 1925 when the Bears signed Red Grange to a contract. Halas then took Grange and the Bears on a coast-to-coast barnstorming tour in which the club played 16 games in nine weeks. The first game of that stretch was played before 36,000 at the team's home site, Wrigley Field.


George Halas, representing the Decatur Staleys, meets with representatives of 12 other clubs at Ralph Hay's Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio, forming the American Professional Football Association - which later became the NFL. Membership is set at $100.


The Decatur Staleys shutout 10 of their 13 opponents in their first year of existence posting at 10-1-2 overall record. The team lost only once to the rival Chicago Cardinals 7-6. Each player was compensated $1,900 for the season.


Decatur Staleys become Chicago Staleys, play in Wrigley Field, and win the APFA title with 9-1-1 record. A. E. Staley gives Halas the club with $5,000 to keep the Staleys name for the year. Halas makes Dutch Sternaman his partner.


Franchise renamed Chicago Bears.


First Chicago player deal: Bears buy tackle Ed Healey's contract from the Rock Island Independents for $100-twice the going rate for a franchise that season.


Harold "Red" Grange signs with Bears and pro football leaves its cradle. His agent C.C. (Cash & Carry) Pyle negotiates a $100,000 deal with the Bears.


Halas takes the Bears and Grange on a coast-to-coast tour that sees the club play 16 games from Nov. 26 through Jan. 31 interrupted only by a two-week rest. The Bears post a 11-4-1 record on the trip.


Grange's first game-36,000 see Bears and Cardinals go 0-0 in Wrigley Field with Grange held to 36 yards.


Grange gets two TDs as the Bears impress 75,000 in the LA Coliseum beating the LA Tigers 17-7.


Bears open offices at 111 W. Washington.