Ohio History Journal

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Report of the Commission Appointed by the American

Pomological Society to Investigate Its Location


Much has been published and more said and written regard-

ing the life and work of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed),

the pioneer collector and planter of apple seeds and the distributor

of seedling apple trees in western New York and Pennsylvania

and throughout the Ohio Valley, northern Ohio, and Indiana and

southwestern Michigan. While a considerable part of the pub-

lished matter regarding him is obviously fictional rather than ac-

curately historical, the general character and economic importance

of his life and work are well established.

Four other states have been credited with his birth, but it is

now definitely known that he was born at Leominster, Massa-

chusetts, September 26, 1774, the second child of Nathaniel Chap-

man (later a Revolutionary War veteran) and his wife, Elizabeth

Simons, daughter of James and Anna Simons of Leominster.

Although the numerous published accounts of his life vary greatly

and are contradictory in many respects, it appears to be well

established that his death occurred in a cabin in Allen County,

near Fort Wayne, Indiana, close to the St. Joseph River about

three miles above its confluence with the St. Mary's River where

it forms the Maumee River. The time of his death has been

variously stated and published as during the month of March in

1843, 1845, 1846 and 1847. The earliest published record of his

death appears to have been in the Weekly Fort Wayne Sentinel of


* Presented at the annual meeting of the American Pomological Society at

Quincy, Illinois, December 14, 1942.