Johnny Appleseed

Drawing of Jonathan Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. Image source: Johnny Appleseed 1.jpg (reprinted from Knapp, H. S. A History of the Pioneer and Modern Times of Ashland County. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co, 1862, frontispiece (which bears a “digitized by Google” label)) by H. S. Knapp is licensed under Public Domain Mark 1.0

John Chapman acquired his reputation as Johnny Appleseed while planting apple trees in Ohio, where he spent much of his time, laying the foundation for the modern apple growing industry.

He was born in 1774 in Massachusetts, but spent much of his life traveling throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. He created apple orchards almost everywhere he went, planting seeds and also transplanting seedlings. Even after two centuries many of the trees he planted still bear fruit.  He was instrumental in spreading apple planting among the U.S. pioneers, and also to Native Americans.

He was known for "roughing" it - usually choosing to sleep outdoors even when offered a warm bed.  Many stories abound, but the consensus says that he dressed humbly in rags and even wore a pot on his head as a hat -- the pot was also used for cooking.  He often went barefoot and was generally known as a kind man who wanted to spread the beauty of his favorite fruit and tree throughout his country.

Johnny Appleseed died in 1845, reportedly the only time he had ever been sick.

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The Melrose apple: the official apple of the state of Ohio. The Melrose is a cultivar developed in Ohio by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, in 1944. Image source: Melrose-Apfel.jpg by MarkusHagenlocher is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0