Johnny Appleseed

And The Old McMichael Farm

Old McMichael farm

Johnny never took up a permanent residence, preferring to sleep outdoors or in the barns of friendly farmers. Due to his particular personality and unconventional vocation, Johnny traveled extensively all throughout Ohio (mainly) to plant and tend to his orchards and nurseries.

In 1821, in exchange for a night’s stay, Johnny planted a tree on the farm property then owned by John Anderson.  The farm, located off Beechgrove Road in Bucyrus (Liberty Township), still exists today, but the tree does not.  

John Anderson’s daughter, Margaret, was about 13 at the time.  She witnessed and helped Johnny Appleseed plant the apple tree on her family’s farm.

Margaret later married David McMichael, and together they had seven children.  Their son, Daniel L., then inherited the McMichael Farm.  

By 1937, the farm was owned by B.O. McMichael (Margaret’s grandson).  At this time, the esteemed Davey Tree Expert Company of Kent, Ohio, conducted extensive rehabilitation to prolong the life of this particular, beloved Johnny Appleseed tree. 

John Davey, the founder of the Davey Tree Expert Company, is considered the “Father of Tree Surgery.”

Davey Tree Expert Company Bulletin, July 1937 Edition. Article on the Rehabilitation Work on the McMichael Farm Apple Tree Planted by Johnny Appleseed in 1821. Bulletin courtesy of The Davey Tree Expert Company

The “Before” picture below reveals the large guy-wires supporting the famous tree.  In addition, small twigs circled it, which were actually 25 small apple trees.  These small trees were planted around the old tree to induce strengthening and infuse it with sap.

After this significant and extensive rehabilitation work, the McMichael Farm tree produced fruit for another 19 years. Despite extensive efforts to protect and preserve it, the tree died in 1958.

While the Johnny Appleseed tree planted on the Old McMichael Farm unfortunately no longer exists, his local legacy lives on through the many valiant attempts and historical accounts to preserve that particular tree. 

Today, the Old McMichael Farm is owned by members of the Weithman Family. 

Today, there are only a few known, original Johnny Appleseed trees still in existence.  However, the legacy of this intrepid American icon who established countless apple tree nurseries and orchards across the midwestern frontier still lives on in America’s collective memory. 


McMichael Farm tree rehabilitated by the Davey Tree Expert Company in April 1937. Davey planted 25 small trees around the base to produce strengthening.

This apple tree was originally planted by Johnny Appleseed on the McMichael Farm in 1821.

Photo Courtesy of Bucyrus Historical Society


McMichael Farm Tree rehabilitated by the Davey Tree Expert Company in 1937.  After extensive preservation work, the tree was in full bloom by the summer of 1937.

This apple tree was originally planted by Johnny Appleseed on the McMichael Farm in 1821.

Photo Courtesy of Bucyrus Historical Society

The article entitled, “Work on Appleseed Tree” covered the work and progress made on the Old McMichael Farm tree.  It was reported several months after the work was completed and the tree was thriving once again. That report was in the Mansfield News Journal on April 2, 1938.

Almost 30 years earlier, that same Appleseed tree on the McMichael Farm was featured in the story, “Old Landmarks.” That Mansfield Shield/Bucyrus Forum report was dated October 4, 1904.

McMichael Farm_Mansfield News Journal_April 2_1938 pg 5

Mansfield News Journal,
April 2, 1938

McMichael Farm_Bucyrus Forum_October 4_1904

Mansfield Shield/Bucyrus Forum,
October 4, 1904

Click on these newspaper images to see close-up references to Johnny Appleseed and his historical connection to Bucyrus.

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