The Legend Of Johnny Appleseed from Wikipedia:
Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774. He was was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American folk hero while still alive, due to his kindhearted, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He was also a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian).
The popular image is of Johnny Appleseed randomly spreading apple seeds everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, erected fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbour who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery. Although apples grown from seed are rarely sweet or tasty, apple orchards with sour apples were popular among the settlers because apples were mostly used for producing hard cider and apple jack. In some periods of the settlement of the Midwest, settlers were required by law to plant orchards of apples and pears in order to uphold the right to the claimed land. So Johnny Appleseed planted orchards that made for popular real estate on the frontier. His first nursery was planted on the bank of Brokenstraw Creek, South of Warren, Pennsylvania. Next, he seems to have moved to Venango County along the shore of French Creek, but many of these nurseries were located in the Mohican area of north-central Ohio. This area included the towns of Mansfield, Lucas, Perrysville, and Loudonville.