Staley is on Farm Road 946 in northern San Jacinto County about ninety miles north of Houston. The first recorded settlers there included Leck Durden and his former slaves, who moved to the area from Georgia after the Civil War. The settlement was known as Velpo and had a post office by that name between 1896 and 1898 and 1907 and 1908. The name was changed to Staley in honor of the community's new postmaster in 1913. During the early 1920s, however, former Houston resident Frank E. Embry came to the vicinity upon learning of oil discoveries in northern San Jacinto County, and the post office name was changed to Embryfield. The community's population was estimated at ten in 1925. Its post office was discontinued in 1941, and for several years thereafter the names Staley and Embryfield were both used in reference to the community, but Staley eventually dominated. A few scattered buildings were erected at the isolated settlement during the 1960s, probably because of growth in San Jacinto County and the completion of nearby Lake Livingston. The population of Staley was reported at thirty in the early 1990s.
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