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Johnny Appleseed

On September 26, 1774, John Chapman was born in Leominster, Massachusetts. At age 18, he and his 11-year-old half brother headed out to the frontier, moving around quite a bit.  At the time, the “frontier” included the western half of Pennsylvania, where the two of them wandered from job to job, doing quite a bit of work in apple orchards.  Their father moved to Ohio in 1805, and the brothers joined him there, and that’s where John got really serious about orchards.  He apprenticed with an orchard owner and soon started off down his life’s path.  Chapman would become known for his mastery of apple cultivation, and soon after earned the nickname Johnny Appleseed.

If you attended elementary school in America, you’ve probably heard of Johnny Appleseed.  The popular image is of a rugged, gentle frontiersman walking around the Northwest Territory barefoot and wearing a tin pot on his head, every so often reaching into a bag of apple seeds and planting apple trees, covering the region with …