Johnny Appleseed: The Name You Know, 10 Facts You May Not

While Johnny Appleseed may be a name that everybody knows, you may not know the true story of the true frontier folk hero who was born nearly 250 years ago. To celebrate Johnny Appleseed Week and the life of a great American pioneer, here are 10 facts you may not know about John Chapman.

1. John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts.

2. His father served as a Minuteman in the Continental Army in the American Revolution and reportedly fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

3. Johnny Appleseed’s legend grew with the 1948 Disney film Melody Time, which was Walt Disney’s tenth animated feature. The segment on Johnny included the song “Oh, The Lord Is Good to Me.”

4. Chapman was never married and therefore did not have any children.

5. Most of Chapman’s apples were not good for eating, but were primarily used for making apple cider. However, at least some sources credit him for the delicious and golden delicious varieties still found in grocery stores today.

6. Chapman constructed fences to protect his trees. When he returned to care for his trees, he would also repair the fences.

7. Johnny Appleseed refused to build campfires because he feared bugs would fly into the flame and be burned live. Later in his life, he was a strict vegetarian.

8. Prior to his death, Chapman claimed to have walked over 4,000 miles around the United States. He introduced trees in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, and Ontario, Canada.

9. Chapman was buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The marker over his grave reads, “He lived for others.” After he passed away, Texas congressman Sam Houston made a speech about Johnny Appleseed’s “labor of love” in the U.S. House of Representatives.

10. The Fort Wayne TinCaps are a Minor League Baseball team that honors Chapman. The mascot’s name is Johnny, and the team’s logo is an apple wearing Chapman’s signature tin hat.

Ohio History Central
Smithsonian Magazine

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