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Apples Anyone?

Massachusetts is the birthplace of many notable Americans, and Central Massachusetts undoubtedly has its share of distinguished people.

Johnny Appleseed (a.k.a. John Chapman) was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, in 1774. This remarkable man was a missionary for The New Church and seemed unwaveringly committed to altruistic endeavors.

What else is there to know? Here are some interesting facts.

  • John Chapman was the second child born to Nathaniel and Elizabeth Chapman.
  • Nathaniel Chapman was a Minuteman in Concord and also served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War.
  • Elizabeth Chapman died in 1776 while giving birth to her second son. The infant passed away approximately fourteen days later.
  • John’s father left his military obligations after Elizabeth’s death and eventually remarried. John had ten siblings from his father’s second marriage.
  • When John was about 18, it is believed he and one of his brothers traveled westward. Several years later, the father and his family joined them in Ohio. John’s father helped John secure an apprenticeship position with an apple orchard owner.
  • John eventually continued his traveling ways, and he carried apple seeds to many new areas. Fellow travelers eventually christened him “Johnny Appleseed.”
  • Johnny Appleseed possessed the traits of a peacemaker and was alleged to settle conflicts between pioneers and Indians.
  • John was devoutly religious and enjoyed sharing his faith with people who wanted to listen.
  • John was a conservationist and disliked the excesses some pioneers displayed.
  • John held respect for American Indians, and some Indians even converted to Christianity because of his words.
  • Although John accumulated a great deal of property from his nurseryman career, he lived modestly.
  • John thought fondly of animals and did not eat meat. When he heard a horse was to be killed by its owner, he bought the animal and gave it to an underprivileged person with the understanding the creature was to be treated humanely.
  • There is some discrepancy concerning the exactness of John’s death in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For example, some say he died he 1845, while others believe he passed in 1847. Nonetheless, the Fort Wayne Sentinel newspaper printed that John died on March 18, 1845.
  • Many states along the trail Johnny Appleseed traveled honor him with assorted commemorations.
  • Leominster, Massachusetts, Johnny Appleseed’s birthplace, regularly pays tribute to this inspiring man. In fact, they even named a public school after him.
  • The Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center is located in Worcester County along the Mohawk Trail in Lancaster, Massachusetts. It is on Route 2 Westbound between exits 35-34. Actually, it’s a great place to visit!

Johnny Appleseed (a.k.a. John Chapman) was a fascinating individual who introduced apples to many areas. He lived his noble convictions and earned the esteem of many he encountered. Because of his generosity, kindness, and fine example of leadership, Johnny Appleseed’s legacy lives on.

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