Portrait Gallery

Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel, March 22, 1845 Page 2.

John Chapman

DIED,—In this city, on Tuesday last, Mr. Thomas McJanet, stone cutter, aged 34 years, a native of Girven, Ayrshire, Scotland.


On the same day, in this neighborhood, at an advanced age, Mr. John Chapman—(better known by the name of Johnny Appleseed.)

The deceased was well known through the region by his eccentricity and the strange garb he usually wore. He followed the occupation of nurseryman, and has been a regular visiter here for upwards of 20 years. He was a native of Pennsylvannia, but we understand his home—if home he had—for some years past was in the neighborhood of Cleveland Ohio, where he has relatives living. He is supposed to have owned considerable property, yet he denied himself almost the common necessities of life—not so much perhaps from avarice as from his peculiar notions on religious subjects. He was a follower of Swedenbourgh, and devoutly believing that the more he endured in this world the less he would have to suffer and the greater would be his happiness hereafter—he submitted to privation with cheerfulness and content, believing that by so doing he was securing the quarters hereafter.

In the most inclement weather he might be seen barefooted and almost naked, except when by chance he picked up articles of old clothing. Notwithstanding the privations and exposure he endured, he lived to an extreme old age, being probably not less than 80 years old at the time of his death,—though no person would have judged from his appearance that he was 60. He always carried with him some work on the doctrines of Swedenbourgh, with which he was perfectly familiar, and would readily converse and argue on this tenets, evincing much schrewdness and penetration.

His death was quite sudden. We saw him in our streets only a day or two previous.

John Chapman, Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel, March 22, 1845, Page 2. “Copied in 2013 at the Allen County Public Library by Stanley J. Follis for Allen INGenWeb.“ (PDF)

Steven Fortreide remarks that:

The date of Johnny's death can be established with reasonable certainty. In 1934 his obituary notice was rediscovered in the March 22, 1845, edition of the Fort Wayne Sentinel by Miss Eva Peck of the Fort Wayne Public Library. The obituary reads in part, “Died—in this city on Tuesday last (March 18) Mr. Thomas McJanet ... On the same day, in this neighborhood, at an advanced age, Mr. John Chapman (better known by the name of Johnny Appleseed.)”

After a few laudatory remarks the notice concluded, “His death was quite sudden. We saw him on our streets only a day or two previous.” The fact that the Sentinel did not give the exact date of death has supported the belief that the actual date was the “Tuesday last” of the previous week, March 11. However, the Fort Wayne Times and Peoples Press of March 22, also ran an obituary, not of John, but of the Thomas Mcjanet referred to by the Sentinel with these words, “Died—In this city on the 18th . . . Mr. Thomas Mcjanet.” This confirms that John did indeed die on March 18, 1845.