JOHNNY APPLESEED SURVIVES COVID-19: Press Release from the Johnny Appleseed Foundation
Urbana, Ohio February, 2021 – A small band of individuals, including some genetic descendants of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, continues to preserve and teach Chapman’s values.
The legendary American, who was born in Massachusetts, planted apple trees near Urbana, Ohio in the mid-1820s. Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman professed and lived by a set of values that includes generosity, humility, stewardship, thrift, entrepreneurship, and caring for one’s fellow man—values relevant in every era.
For over a quarter-century, The Johnny Appleseed Education Center and Museum has taught these values to scholars, children, travelers and community groups from its location on the campus of Urbana University, in Urbana, Ohio.
This summer, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Franklin University permanently closed its Urbana University branch campus. This closure shuttered The Johnny Appleseed Education Center and Museum and sealed off its collection from the public.
The Education Center and Museum housed the world’s most significant and complete collection of information about Johnny Appleseed. This extensive research collection was used by historians and scholars.
The Education Center trained teachers, provided educational materials for classrooms, and published books for children.
Now, the search is on for a new home for the collection, the education center and the museum.
A small amount of funding for this work has been raised. More is needed.
The fundraising is a combined effort of The Johnny Appleseed Foundation, online at
which owns the collection, and The Johnny Appleseed Society, whose members have provided volunteer work at the Education Center and Museum.
As part of its fundraising effort, The Johnny Appleseed Foundation has created a GoFundMe page:
The Johnny Appleseed Foundation
Around 1992, The Johnny Appleseed Foundation, for many years based at the Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio, was re-incorporated in Urbana, Ohio in order to raise the public and private funds with which to create the first museum wholly devoted to Chapman's legacy: The Johnny Appleseed Education Center and Museum. The museum collection, originally displayed in Bailey Hall on the Urbana University campus, was relocated to the campus gateway at Browne Hall in 2018.
Urbana University's connection to John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman went back to the middle decades of the 19th century, when Chapman—woodsman, orchardist, entrepreneur,
and Swedenborgian missionary—encouraged the founding of a college to prepare young men and women to spread the "good news straight from Heaven" he found in Swedenborg's writings.
Urbana College (later Urbana University) was the fruit of that encouragement, as the apple was the fruit of his orchards.
In 2014 Urbana University, then in dire financial straits, was acquired by Franklin University as a branch campus. Franklin invested roughly thirty million dollars in new or improved programs
and facilities at Urbana over the next six years; but when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in the Spring of 2020, and the State of Ohio closed all college campuses, Franklin, fearing further
losses, permanently closed the institution.
The Johnny Appleseed Foundation is a 501c(3) non-for-profit organization.
The Johnny Appleseed Society
Nearly three decades ago, Urbana faculty and friends came together, in what would become the Johnny Appleseed Society, to spark interest in creating a museum dedicated to the life and
work of John Chapman. For information on The Johnny Appleseed Society, a 501c(3) membership organization, or to subscribe to its bimonthly e-newsletter, The Apple Core, visit
To learn more about how Johnny Appleseed survived COVID-19, please contact Drew McLandrich, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 513-706-2942