SAVED GREEN'S TOMATOES. ~ Even Though He Had to Call on the Police for Help.

March 28, 1908

Even Though He Had to Call on the
Police for Help.

"I want some of you fellows here to call James Green, the old man, at Twelfth and Prospect, and have him call Jimmy Green, young Jimmy, his son, at Twelfth and Montgall, and have Jimmy tell his wife to go out on the back porch and take in them tomato plants. They'll sure freeze if they stay out all night tonight."

The foregoing request was made by an aged man who strolled into police headquarters last night and announced that he was "in deep trouble and needed some help." The request was so unusual, and as it was made in a drawling tone, the police only laughed. The old man's feelings appeared to be hurt because no one would take him seriously.

"I mean just what I say," he insisted. "I have been making a garden for young Jimmy Green. A short time ago I sowed tomato seed in a box. The plants came up and today I put the box out in the sun and went away and left it. When it began to turn cold a little while ago I thought of them tomato plants and want young Jimmy's wife to take 'em in, so I do. They'll all be ruined if she don't."

When it was seen that the old gardener was serious, James Green was called over the telephone. He said he would tell "young Jimmy" and that he knew young Jimmy would tell his wife. The old man was contented at this information and kindly thanked all who had aided him in saving the tomato plants. He game the name of John Hiltbrunner, and his residence as 309 Walnut street.

"I used to own 200 acres of the best land in Iowa," he said sadly. "My children all grew up, married and left me. After that my wife died. Then I lost my homestead and have virtually been turned out upon the world to make a living at the age of 63 years. Knowing nothing but farming I have been making my way as a gardener and manage to keep the wolf away when the season is on."

When asked why he did not go to live with some of his married children the old man hung his head. "Oh , you know how children are when they marry and settle down for themselves. Sometimes they forget the old folks."