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.

9/17/20

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.

1920

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.

1921

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.

1/28/22

Franchise renamed Chicago Bears.

11/27/22

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.

11/22/25

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.

11/26/25

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.

11/26/25

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

1/16/26

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

3/1/26

Bears open offices at 111 W. Washington.