• About Elvay Joseph Muffley
    MuffleyE.J. Muffley was born in Lexington, Illinois in 1893.  When he started school he attended a one-room school house where one teacher taught grades one through eight.  In the fifth grade he attended the Lexington Public Schools.  He graduated from Lexington High School in 1912 at which time he took a teachers' examination which allowed him to teach in the country schools.  This he did for a year.  Then it was on to Eureka College.
    During his college years, E.J. spent his free time on Saturdays taking boys on hikes, playing basketball or swimming with them, doing things that Boy Scouts do today.  His concern for youngsters was recognized and he was offered a position as a playground supervisor.
    In 1917, Muffley graduated from Eureka College and came to Decatur.  He was General Secretary of the Pines YMCA, part of the beginning of the Decatur Recreation Department.    E.J. Muffley eventually became known as the "Father of Recreation".  He always wanted the underprivileged to have advantages.  With his wisdom and concern for young people he realized that teens who were happily occupied were less likely to get into trouble.  In the twenties, Muffley would organize basketball games in the Roach School gym.  This activity caught on and eventually spread to other areas of the city.
    Dr. Muffley's teaching career began in 1924 at Roosevelt Junior High where he spent thirty-five years of service as teacher, assistant principal or principal.
    Among his many honors Dr. E.J. Muffley is listed in the 1955-56 "Who's Who in American Education".  At the time he received the National Life Member of PTA, there was only one other person in the city holding this award.
    Mrs. Ruth Borop, Dr. Muffley's daughter, tells us that the honor that probably touched her father the most was having an elementary school named for him.  At the dedication of the E.J. Muffley Elementary School on May 5, 1957, he spoke on the "4th R in Education" which he called community responsibility.  What an appropriate title for a speech delivered by a man who has lived "community responsibility".
    Dr. Muffley has performed so many volunteer services for our city that we cannot mention them all here.  We can say that his time has been given freely out of his concern for his fellow man.