Ohio History Journal

304 Ohio Arch

304       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.




General Roeliff Brinkerhoff, of the Board of Park Commis-

sioners, in his address spoke as follows:

We have met here today to dedicate a monument to one

of the earliest and most unselfish of Ohio benefactors. His

name was John Chapman, but to the pioneers he was everywhere

known as "Johnny Appleseed." The

field of his operations, in Ohio, was

mainly, the valleys of the Muskin-

gum river and its tributaries and his

mission, for the most part, was to

plant apple seeds in well located

nurseries, in advance of civilization

and have apple trees ready for plant-

ing when the pioneers should appear.

He also scattered through the

forest the seeds of medicinal plants,

such as dog-fennel, pennyroyal, cat-

nip, hoarhound, rattlesnake root and

the like.

We hear of him as early as 1806

on the Ohio river, with two canoe loads of appleseeds gathered

from the cider presses of western Pennsylvania and with these

he planted nurseries along the Muskingum river and its trib-


About 1810 he made his headquarters in that part of the old

county of Richland, which is now Ashland, in Green township,

and was there for a number of years and then came to Mans-

field. He was a familiar figure and a welcome guest in the

homes of the early pioneers. All the early orchards of Richland

county were procured from the nurseries of "Johnny Appleseed."

Within the sound of my voice, where I now stand, there are

a dozen or more trees that we believe are the lineal descendants

of "Johnny Appleseed's" nurseries. In fact, this monument is

almost within the shadow of three or four of them.

As civilization advanced "Johnny" passed on to the west-

ward and at last, in 1847, he ended his career in Indiana and was

"Johnny Appleseed

"Johnny Appleseed."               305


buried near what is now the city of Fort Wayne. To the end

he was true to his mission of planting nurseries and sowing the

seeds of medicinal herbs. To the pioneers of Ohio he was an

unselfish benefactor and we are here today to aid in transmitting

to coming generations our grateful memory of his deeds.



The historical sketch of "Johnny Appleseed" was prepared

and presented by Mr. A. J. Baughman, a recognized authority in

the early history of Richland county. Mr. Baughman's address

was as follows:

John Chapman was born at Springfield, Mass., in the year

1775. Of his early life but little is known, as he was reticent

about himself, but his half-sister,

who came west at a later period,

stated that Johnny had, when a boy,

shown a fondness for natural scen-

ery and often wandered from home

in quest of plants and flowers and

that he liked to listen to the birds

singing and to gaze at the stars.

Chapman's penchant for planting

apple seeds and cultivating nur-

series caused him to be called

"Appleseed  John,"  which   was

finally changed to "Johnny Apple-

seed," and by that name he was

called and known everywhere.

The year Chapman came to Ohio has been variously stated,

but to say it was one hundred years ago would not be far from

the mark. An uncle of the late Rosella Rice lived in Jefferson

county when Chapman made his first advent into Ohio, and one

day saw a queer-looking craft coming down the Ohio river above

Steubenville. It consisted of two canoes lashed together, and

its crew was one man-an angular oddly-dressed person-and

when he landed he said his name was Chapman, and that his

cargo consisted of sacks of apple seeds and that he intended to

plant nurseries.