People of Allen County, Indiana

Johnny Appleseed aka. John Chapman

July 18, 2019 the Johnny Appleseed Festival Board on Facebook posted photos of the new Johnny Appleseed bench in downtown Fort Wayne outside the new Hampton Inn & Suites next to Parkview Field.

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    John Chapman aka. Johnny Appleseed was born September 26, 1775 in Leominster, Massachusetts, the second child of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Simonds) Chapman. See Johnny Appleseed Today in History - September 26 at The Library of Congress posted September 26, 2017 on Facebook. His birthplace now has a street called Johnny Appleseed Lane. He was a colorful pioneer of the Indiana frontier in the early 1800's who died in March 1845. He may have attended Methodist church services as his funeral was performed by the ciruit rider preacher according to Saint Joseph United Methodist Church history. He is buried in Fort Wayne and celebrated each September since 1974 with the free Johnny Appleseed Festival at his park see the Johnny Appleseed Festival History. He is buried in Johnny Appleseed Park in Archer Cemetery on the northeast side of Fort Wayne across the parking lot from the Memorial Coliseum. The Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project lists over 20 burials in their Archer Cemetery listings. According to the fesitival site his burial location is designated a National Historic Place and is identified as such on the National Register of Historic Places. Read more in Hoosier Legends: Johnny Appleseed by Aimee Formo September 20, 2013 on researching, remembering, and ... Making Hoosier History with the Indiana Historical Bureau blog. Fort Wayne Pioneer: Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman by Tom Castaldi, local historian,published May 12, 2016 by the Indiana Historical Bureau.

    Numerical list of papers in settlement of the estate of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed); original papers are on file in the county clerk's office, Allen county court house, Fort Wayne, Indiana on Archive.org

    Johnny Appleseed's story is retold above in the 27 page 1963 Archive.org version of the 1952 Allen County Public Library booklet Johnny Appleseed, Orchardist. Among other things it mentions his estate papers in the Allen County Courthouse showing he owned 15,000 trees and several tracts of land.

    Video Interesting Indiana: Legend of Johnny Appleseed by Interesting Indiana published November 17, 2014 YouTube

    Johnny Appleseed is celebrated by the Fort Wayne Midwest League Affiliate of the San Diego Padres baseball team the TinCaps who play in the downtown Parkview Field stadium next to the historic Embassy Theatre and Hotel Indiana, across the street from the Grand Wayne Center and south of the main Allen County Public Library.

    History Center image
    History Center Image
    Some claim when he died along the Saint Joseph River that he was buried on Henry Cassell's land now the 9th hole of the Canterbury Green Golf Course. According to Wikipedia, There is some controversy and vagueness concerning the date of his death and his burial. Harper's New Monthly Magazine of November, 1871 [an 8 page article on Cornell University web site] (which is taken by many as the primary source of information about John Chapman) says he died in the summer of 1847. The Fort Wayne Sentinel printed his death notice on Saturday, March 22, 1845, saying that he died on Tuesday, March 18, 1845. A typed transcript is on page 7 of the 9 page Chapman Families Johnny Appleseed page. The Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel newspaper printed his estate notice shown on the left. A January 1, 2018 discussion by someone whose grandfather on a railroad crew discovered and helped move his grave on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook. I. H. W. Jones, the County Auditor authorized a January 1848 estate sale shown in the image above right posted with several other images March 18, 2019 by The History Center on Facebook.

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    Where is John Johnny Appleseed Chapman buried?

    1923 Newspaper article

    The photo above is from the July 8, 1923 The Journal Gazette newspaper. It states: Members of the Indiana Historical and Pioneer societies during their recent two-days pilgrimage in Fort Wayne, did not fail to give honor to the memory of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), who in the early pioneers days traveled through the wilderness providing settlers with appleseeds. Chapman died at the farm home of William Worth in 1843 and lies buried in the old Archer cemetery, three miles north of the city, on the Robison park line.

    The where is he buried question sparked debate in Fort Wayne in the 1930s and 1940s, and continues to plague historians. No one has yet found a tombstone or records to confirm the body of John Chapman lies in what is now Johnny Appleseed Park several miles inside city limits. But new information seems to strengthen the case Chapman was buried on the hill in the park that now holds his memorial, said Steve Fortriede, who has researched the question extensively.

    Copied from the story Researcher finds slice of Johnny Appleseed's life that may prove his burial spot Records may dispel doubt about park site by Kevin Kilbane published September 18, 2003 in The News-Sentinel newspaper now found online on the Wayback Machine.

    Location of Johnny Appleseed grave site

    The blueprint map on the right was prepared by A.K. Hofer, C.E., Fort Wayne, July 1937 and is from Location Map of Johnny Appleseed Cabin and Vicinity on the Indiana Memory Digital Library on IN.gov linked to the map at the History Center Digital Collection on the mDON mastodon Digital Object Network. You can zoom and move around on their scrollable map. A discussion of this map occurred June 28, 2017 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

    There are links on the Indiana Memory page to other maps:

    1. 1845 Neighborhood During Johnny Appleseed's Sojournings details on the Indiana Memory Digital Library on IN.gov linked to the map at the History Center Digital Collection on the mDON mastodon Digital Object Network
    2. Ca. 1880 Map of Ft. Wayne Vicinity details on the Indiana Memory Digital Library on IN.gov linked to the map at the History Center Digital Collection on the mDON mastodon Digital Object Network
    3. 1885 Map of the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana details on the Indiana Memory Digital Library on IN.gov linked to the map at the History Center Digital Collection on the mDON mastodon Digital Object Network
    4. 1964-1971 Fort Wayne, Indiana, Navigation Chart & Historical Sites details on the Indiana Memory Digital Library on IN.gov linked to the map at the History Center Digital Collection on the mDON mastodon Digital Object Network

    NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES INVENTORY - NOMINATION FORM

    A 94 page document received December 12, 1972 posted on the National Archives Catalog web page titled Indiana SP Johnny Appleseed Memorial Park states that Johnny Appleseed was buried in the two acre Archer Cemetery. One has to wonder how many other pioneers were buried in those two acres and what happened to their tombstones? The Description, Item 7, on page 2 states:

    Prior to the 1930's most of the area in Section 25 (See Property Plat Map attached) was practically a wilderness. Within this area to the south lies the Old David Archer cemetery consisting of 2 acres of land, and containing the grave of John Chapman, known as Johnny Appleseed.

    During the 1930's some of the wilderness was cleared from a portion of the cemetery and a narrow gravel road was installed from there to Pamall Avenue, During this period, a granite memorial, surrounded by an iron fence, was erected on the cemetery indicating the dates of the birth and death of this pioneer.

    During the 1940's, and 1950's, most all of the wilderness and debris was cleared from most of Section25. The land area comprising 11.34acres, which included the 2 acre area of the Archer cemetery lying in the approximate center along the old Wabash-Erie canal was then set aside as the Johnny Apple-seed Memorial Park Containing the Grave of Johnny Appleseed.

    In 1952, the construction, near the intersection of Parnell Avenue and U.S. 30 By-Pass, of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum was completed. There were no major changes made on the Appleseed property.

    In September 1965, the following symbolic items of significance were installed on the Archer cemetery knoll for memorializing Johnny Appleseed:

    (a)—Cobblestones were placed around the existing granite memorial to remind the visitor of the rough terrain trans-versed by Johnny Appleseed on his long barefoot journey to Port Wayne.

    (b)—A large greensward cross, edged by railroad ties, was laid out at the crest of the cemetery. The cross beam measures 200 feet, the other member extends 250 feet. The cross symbolizes Johnny's mission to spread the Gospel through the wilderness.

    (c)—Evergreens were planted in a pattern to form the initials" J. C." meaning John Chapman.

    The present physical appearance is very good.

    May 5, 1916 Johnny Appleseed Memorial Dedication
    This May 5, 1916 Johnny Appleseed Memorial dedication at Swinney Park is similar to a memorial now found on the 9th hole of the Canterbury Green Golf Course. Photo from a February 21, 2013 discussion on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook. 2 recent photos including a closeup of the historical marker was discussed March 30, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook.
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    Johnny Appleseed Memorial Friday afternoon May 5th the Society will hold suitable services in Fort Wayne in memory of Johnny Appleseed. A monument will be unveiled at this time in Swinney park. A suitable iron fence will be erected around the Johnny Appleseed grave in the Archer cemetery just north of Fort Wayne Every loyal member of the Society should plan to be on hand at this time to take part in these memorial exercises for this pioneer horticultural character. From page 386 Transactions of the Indiana Horticultural Society ..., Volume 56 By Indiana Horticultural Society a Google ebook.

    Practical Hint No 3 May 29th 1916

    May 5th 1916 Friday afternoon, May 5th, an enthusiastic gathering of northern Indiana fruit growers met to dedicate a monument to Johnny Appleseed. The exercises were held in Swinney park, where the monument was placed. This monument consists of a huge granite boulder which supports a bronze tablet bearing a bas relief of Johnny Appleseed and a suitable inscription. The boulder is uncut, being left just as it came from the field so as to be more in keeping with the character of Johnny Appleseed. The meeting was called to order at 2:30 by President Walton. Those in attendance were then addressed by Mayor W. E. Hosey, of Fort Wayne; Dean Alfred Vivian, of the Ohio Agricultural College; Prof. C. G. Woodbury, Chief in Horticulture, Purdue University; Colonel D. N. Foster, Chairman of the Fort Wayne park board and E. R. Smith of Indianapolis. Mr. Smith read a letter from Hon. Stephen Fleming of Fort Wayne, whose generosity made it possible for the Society to erect this monument. Eight hundred Fort Wayne school children sang appropriate songs at these exercises, one of which was especially composed for this occasion by Miss Ruth Caldwell of the Fort Wayne schools. A substantial iron fence was also erected around the grave site in the David Archer cemetery north of Fort Wayne. The Indiana Horticultural Society is to be congratulated on having such a loyal friend as the Hon. Stephen Fleming. He financed the entire scheme of erecting this memorial to Johnny Appleseed. Our only regret is that more of our members could not have been present at this very pleasing ceremony.

    From page 387 Transactions of the Indiana Horticultural Society ..., Volume 56 By Indiana Horticultural Society a Google ebook.

    Found posted on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebookby Barb Arnold February 22, 2013.

    East or West? Johnny Appleseed’s grave site controversy WANE Staff Report published September 20, 2015 on WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

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    Pages 370-372 in The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs in 1917 on Internet Archive, discusses his death and burial location. A search for Appleseed finds many more references in the book.

    Canterbury Green Memorial

    See Canterbury Green Golf Course 9th Hole Map on Stonehedge Blvd. for the location of their Johnny Appleseed Memorial. This memorial states: This marks the small cemetery on the Henry Cassell land where John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) died in March 1845 and was buried here. Richard Worth died between 1845 and 1846 and was buried here also.

    Johnny Appleseed location plaqueJohnny Appleseed plaqueJohnny Appleseed location plaque

    Archive.org ebooks

    1. Appleseed, Johnny, 1774-1845 search over 45 titles some are below:
    2. Numerical list of papers in settlement of the estate of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed); original papers are on file in the county clerk's office, Allen county court house, Fort Wayne, Indiana
    3. Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman by Tom Castaldi published September 25, 2014 in History Center Notes & Queries blog.
    4. Johnny Appleseed : a pioneer hero (1955) - Haley, W. D, "The following biographical sketch by W.D. Haley was originally published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, volume XLIII, November 1871."--foreword
    5. Old Johnny Appleseed (1955) - Miller, Olive Beaupré. cn, Originally appeared in Heroes, Outlaws & Funny Fellows of American Popular Tales, by Olive Beaupre Miller
    6. Johnny Appleseed, orchardist (1963) - Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County
    7. Johnny Appleseed Almanac (1975) - Old Fort Settlers (Fort Wayne, Ind.), "Old Fort Settlers Project, Swinney Homestead ...", brief history, then many apple and old time style recipes
    8. Johnny Appleseed: the man behind the myth (1978) - Fortriede, Steven. Includes bibliographical references

    Johnny Appleseed 1948 cartoon on Archive.org

    Other Johnny Appleseed Stuff

    1. View the Johnny Appleseed Memorial Association Record Books at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana
    2. Some of Johnny Appleseed's land still a farm by Nancy Vendrely in her Yesterdays column in the People insert published May 21, 1996 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Chester and Sally Green owned 40 acres of land owned by Johnny Appleseed his shed with foundation stones used to be on the Eel River Township farm.
    3. Johnny Appleseed’s Grave by Randy Harter, Fort Wayne historian, author, and the history/architecture guide for FortWayneFoodTours.com published September 23, 2018 in the Fort Wayne Reader and discussed September 24, 2018 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook.
    4. His once neglected gravesite was discussed March 18, 2011 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.
    5. Discussion February 13, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook.
    6. 9 Facts that Tell the True Story of Johnny Appleseed by Kristy Puchko on mental_floss.
    7. Johnny Appleseed's Legacy Lives On in Fort Wayne posted March 15, 2017 on Visit Fort Wayne.
    8. February 19, 2013 one of several the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebookdiscussions on Johnny Appleseed.
    9. A September 17, 1894 Fort Wayne News newspaper carried a line about a drunk named Johnny Appleseed ( who died in 1845)! From the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.
    10. American Legends Volume 1: Johnny Appleseed published March 12, 2012 a Disney Educational Productions YouTube.
    11. Exhibit on real Johnny Appleseed to hit the road by Lisa Cornwell of The Associated Press July 19, 2014 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
    12. There is a Johnny Appleseed Memorial Park in Lima, Allen County, Ohio.
    13. You Tube has lots of videos
    14. What's the story with Johnny Appleseed? on The Straight Dope
    15. The Legacy of Johnny Appleseed looks at heritage apple varieties written for the Chicago Botanic Garden by Dan Bussey published February 19, 2015 on Seed Savers Exchange.
    16. Searching for Johnny a modern Johnny Appleseed film
    17. The Legend of Johnny Appleseed by Edward Higgins published March 11, 2015 on Farmers Almanac.com.
    18. The Real Johnny Appleseed Brought Apples—and Booze—to the American Frontier The apples John Chapman brought to the frontier were very different than today's apples—and they weren't meant to be eaten by Natasha Geiling published November 10, 2014 on Smithsonian.com.
    19. Johnny Appleseed on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    20. 30 photos of Johnny Appleseed posted September 16, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook.
    21. Mo Rocca on CBS News visited the Johnny Appleseed Festival in 2017 and has this video How's them apples? and the same video with all the words transcribed on this page Was Johnny Appleseed for real? published November 26, 2017 on CBS News Sunday Morning that starts with the festival then looks at modern apples and back and forth to the festival. Video below works in Firefox and Edge browsers, not in Google Chrome, not sure why?

    22. At age 85, sculptor Hector Garcia wants to live long enough to make Fort Wayne’s first serious public work depicting John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. ... Garcia envisions a non-Disney-fied John Chapman in a four-by-four bronze relief plaque that could go on the wall at the entrance to Parkview Field. .... His other works include Little Turtle in Headwaters Park and Jesuit Priest where the city’s three rivers meet. Copied from Where’s Johnny? A sculptor wants to immortalize 'the real' Johnny Appleseed in downtown Fort Wayne by Ann Votaw published March 13, 2019 on Input Fort Wayne.
    23. Local Anthony Wayne Boy Scouts have patch for hiking the Johnny Appleseed Trail. See discussion May 26, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Closed group on Facebook.
    24. John Chapman: challenging the Johnny Appleseed legend by Lisa Esquivel Long published November 27, 2019 on Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.
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    Page updated: November 29, 2019