The Wealthy Apple.
It wasn’t easy. Peter Gideon moved to Minnesota, and the Minnetonka area in 1853. In 1868 Peter Gideon selected, (and named after his wife, Wealthy Hull), the “Wealthy” apple from hundreds of thousands of seedlings he grew on his farm near Excelsior. 15 years of frozen failure. 15 years of marginal living. But finally a sapling survived. The “Wealthy Apple”became the first apple variety of commercial quality to be grown in Minnesota.
In 1870 Col. John H. Stevens said: “True, we were under a cloud for a long time. We planted but did not harvest. Our trees withered and perished. Whether it was the frosts of Winter or the sun of Summer that caused them to prematurely die, no one has been able to determine. Plant as we would, the trees sickened and died. No wonder, then, we became discouraged. Orchards to the third and fourth planting failed, a constant drain on the pocket without a ray of light in the future, influenced us in abandoning the enterprise. But those days, and their trials, have passed.”
* Credits to Minnesota Harvest Orchards.