About Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed Museum
Johnny Appleseed Museum Employees
Johnny was born in Leominster, MA on September 26, 1774. His father was a soldier in the Revolutionary War when his mother, Elizabeth died in July of 1776. When his father returned he married Lucy Cooley and they had ten children. Johnny and his sister Elizabeth made twelve children in the household in Longmeadow, MA.
Johnny learned about the apple business as a young man working for a neighbor who owned an apple orchard. He moved west and started his apple business in western PA. He would plant apple seeds near creeks and rivers and grow apple seedlings. When ready he would sell the seedlings to settlers to establish an orchard. He did this for approximately 50 years in PA, OH and IN.
His business niche was to anticipate each new wave of settlers in order to know where to start the apple seedling nurseries. Often it was in Indian territory. He got along well with the Indians and it bothered him greatly when the War of 1812 broke out. Although he did not fight in the war he did make a heroic 'Paul Revere' run from Mansfield, OH to Mt. Vernon, OH to get the nearest militia to save the pin-downed settlers.
Johnny was a very principled man and terms used to describe him include:
- Hard Working
- Good Character
- Love of Family
- Gentle Goodness
Johnny died in Ft. Wayne, IN where they have an annual Johnny Appleseed Festival every September. Other Johnny Appleseed Festivals are held in Lisbon, Applecreek, Lima, Defiance and Brunswick, Ohio. Leominster, MA ; Crystal Lake, IL; and Paradise, CA also hold Johnny Appleseed Festivals. In addition, many apple festivals around the country incorporate a ' Johnny ' as part of their festivities.
Johnny was also a missionary for the Swedenborgian church. Urbana University was founded by the Swedenborgian Church and Johnny knew many of the Founders. The Johnny Appleseed Museum is in Bailey Hall [circa 1850] named for Francis Bailey an early convert to the faith in America. Bailey was the printer of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He also printed the religious tracts Johnny distributed on the frontier. Johnny was introduced to the faith by Judge John Young and his wife Maria Barclay Young in Greensburg, PA while establishing an apple orchard for them.
Johnny played many roles in the settling of the Ohio territory and what was then the western front of the United States.
He was a:
- Medical Man
"Johnny Appleseed's name will never be forgotten.... We shall realize more and more the value of the work he has done. We will keep his memory green and future generations of boys and girls will love him as we, who knew him, have learned to love him." (General William Tecumseh Sherman)