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Historic Metamora Inc

PO Box 13

Metamora, IN 47030

Celebrate 1838

May 2, 2020

Johnny Appleseed 1774-1845

This year we will be visited by Johnny Appleseed, who spent time in Indiana toward the end of his life and died in the Ft. Wayne area.

 

The popular image is of Johnny Appleseed spreading apple seeds randomly everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery.  from wikipedia

The Fort Wayne Sentinel printed his obituary on March 22, 1845, saying that he died on March 18:

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

The deceased was well known through this region by his eccentricity, and the strange garb he usually wore. He followed the occupation of a nurseryman, and has been a regular visitor here upwards of 10 years. He was a native of Pennsylvania we understand but his home—if home he had—for some years past was in the neighborhood of Cleveland, where he has relatives living. 

First Land Entries
Let's visit Metamora in 1867
Mount - Holland Plat of 1838

In 1838 David Mount and William Holland platted 42 lots along the proposed course of the Whitewater Canal and named the town Metamora.  

It is important to realize that the area was already settled at this time, and commonly known as Duck Creek. In the advertising for the sale of town lots David Mount promotes the fact that   "Such has been the demand for a place of business at this point, that though no town has heretofore been laid off, a store, tannery, post office, and numerous mechanic shops have been established and are doing an excellent business, and the proprietors in laying out this town, believe they are merely answering the wishes and wants of the rich and rapidly improving country around." From this it can be seen that Metamora was not a frontier outpost in the wilderness but rather a business development fueled by prospective state-funded infrastructure enhancements. 

In 1826 The Duck Creek Club was formed for the detection of thieves, with an 18 article Constitution outlining the conduct of the society and the formation of pursuing corps. In the list of founding members we see many names associated with the early history of the town; Mount, Holland, McWhorter, Pond, Curry, and Blackledge, for example.