Family honored for tending last living Appleseed tree


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For more than five generations, 92-year old Dick Algeo’s family have been faithful stewards of the last known apple tree planted by American frontiersman Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman, who planted millions of apple seeds across Ohio and from Illinois to Pennsylvania and broke ground to lay the foundation for tens of thousands of homesteaders to make their homes in the early United States. He did this work from the time he was 17 in 1792 until his death at age 70 in 1844. Algeo heard stories about Johnny Appleseed from his great-grandmother.

The Ohio House of Representatives was scheduled to honor five living generations of the Algeo family of Nova, Ohio, for their stewardship in a ceremony today at the Harvey-Algeo Centennial Farm in Nova. The noon ceremony will include comments by Dr. Christopher Washington of Urbana University; Mike Mongo, official ambassador of Johnny Appleseed in Space; and Bill Dodd, U.S. Apple Association board member.

With Algeo at the ceremony will be his daughter, Barbara Morgan, his granddaughter, Kathryn Gibson, his great-granddaughter, Amy Paramore-Sheaffer, and his great-great-grandchildren, Tristan and Willow Paramore-Sheaffer.

Urbana University is the home of the Johnny Appleseed Museum and Education Center. The school was founded in 1850 on land Johnny Appleseed persuaded local Swedenborgian church members to donate. Trees grafted from the Nova, Ohio, apple tree grow on school grounds. Housed at Urbana University, Johnny Appleseed in Space is a Space STEM project led by astronaut teacher and Space STEM educator Mike Mongo.

Johnny Appleseed in Space, in partnership with United Launch Alliance, is sending apple seeds to Space from the last known living apple tree planted by Johnny Appleseed. The apple seeds will return to Earth and be propagated and distributed to participating schools. The seedlings will be grown in school yards as Johnny Appleseed Space apple trees.

A video of the last known living apple tree planted by Johnny Appleseed is available: https://youtu.be/Ebw6E1ECCsY

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Submitted by Urbana University.

Submitted by Urbana University.