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Anna Juarez - Artist, Johnny Appleseed - Everyday Star (C-1)

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Anna Juarez Dekalb

Anna Juarez, Student ArtistDekalb High School

John Chapman/Johnny Appleseed, Everyday Star

The legendary Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman.  His life is an all-American folktale centered mostly in Indiana and Ohio. Born in Massachusetts, Chapman loved spending time in his father's apple orchard and dreaming of his future travels. At the age of 18 and loaded with seeds from the Pennsylvania Cider Presses Company, he started his trek westward, planting seeds everywhere along the way. As seeds grew into orchards and produced fruit, Chapman would trade apples for food, clothing, and supplies. What he didn't need he gave away, usually saving the most tattered clothes for himself. This earned him the reputation of being a "rag-a-muffin", but also for having a kind and generous spirit.

Historians disagree on Chapman's age at the time he died (somewhere between 70 and 75), and also on the exact location in Fort Wayne where he is buried. The two most likely places are either Archer Cemetery or on the grounds of what is now Canterbury Green Apartments. Everyone does agree, however, that John Chapman - Johnny Appleseed - left an enduring legacy in Fort Wayne, one that is honored each September by the Johnny Appleseed Festival. Most recently, Fort Wayne named its baseball team, the "Tin Caps", in memory of the pot that Chapman so famously wore as a hat.

There are no images of John Chapman, so we don't know what he actually looked like. This is my personal interpretation of how his face might have appeared. It is surrounded by the trees, bearing the fruit that he loved and that made him the apple of so many eyes!