American Gardening 20(232):404 (June 3, 1899)

Origin of the Wealthy Apple

THE story of the origin of this apple is thus told by Peter M. Gideon, of Excelsior, Minn.:

"Forty-four years ago I began fruit culture in Minnesota by planting thirty named varieties of apples, a good collection of pears, plums, cherries, and quinces, a bushel of apple seed and a peck of peach seed, and yearly for nine years planted more trees and seeds, and all kept as long as they could live in Minnesota, and at the end of ten years all died except one small seedling crab. And thousands of others planted trees that shared the same fate, and they dropped apple culture and branded me a fool, or insane, for continuing to test and try.

"So the problem of fruit culture was left to me to solve—labor and money of years gone, one cow and less than twenty chickens all I had outdoors, indoors a wife and a lot of little ones to feed and clothe. And when fed and clothed for the winter I had $8 left, and I sent that to Albert Emerson, of Bangor, Maine, for seeds and cions. No chance to earn more, people were generally poor, so to clothe myself I took two old cast-off vests, sewed them together, cut the legs off an old pair of pantaloons, sewed them on for sleeves, and so on until I had a new suit, that by patching lasted six months, made all myself—more odd than ornamental. Yet, that suit made of old rags has added millions to the wealth of the cold North. I got the seeds and cions, and from the cions I grew the Duchess, Blue Pearmain and Cherry crab, and from Cherry crab seed, got at the same time, I grew the Wealthy apple, and along with the crab seeding above referred to, the foundation of successful apple culture was secured. And on that line, crossing the common apple on the crab, I have been operating ever since and with results almost too marvelous to tell."

CybeRose note: The 'Wealthy' apple was named for Gideon's wife, Wealthy (Hall) Gideon.

Gideon: Growing apple seedlings (1899)