Johnny Appleseed Day

John Chapman

   He was born Sep. 28, 1774 as John Chapman but we came to know him as Johnny Appleseed. John was born in Leominster, Massachusetts to a father who was a Minuteman at Concord and later served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
   It is not known exactly when he left New England and started his westward journey. He would purchase his seeds from cider mills. He did not randomly scatter seeds but was a practical nurseryman. He gave away and sold many trees. He owned many tree nurseries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, where he grew his beloved apple trees and then sold or traded them. He sold apple seedlings to those who could afford to pay and those without money would provide housing, food or other needs in exchange. Although he was successful with his trees, Appleseed lived a simple life. He was a vegetarian, wore raggedy clothes, and was a very religious man. It is said that as Johnny traveled, he wore his cooking pot on his head as a hat (this may or may not be true)!
John was also a preacher He would share his religious tracts and his bible with anyone who would listen. He wandered the midwest for over fifty years from western Pennsylvania through northern Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois traveling barefoot with no more belongings than he could carry on his back.

While caring for one of his orchard in Allen County, Indiana he was stricken with pneumonia and sought help in the cabin of his friend William Worth. The fever took his life on March 10, 1845 at the age of 70. John was buried along the St Joseph River in Fort Wayne IN.

The last known living apple tree planted by Johnny still grows on an old farm in Nova, Ohio . The farm dates back to an original Land Grant signed by John Quincy Adams in 1837.

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