Gone Twenty Years, Comes Home Hungry
Washington Times, 5 Apr 1909, p. 3

Full Text
Husband's Return Greeted by Wife's Cheerful "Come in, John, Dinner is Ready"--Is Brought Back by Son's Entreaties
After an absence of twenty years, during which his wife and son did not know his wearabouts or whether he was dead or alive, John Alles has returned to his home in Wilmette, brought back by his son Frank, who was ten years old when his father vanished. The family still lives at Prairie and Wilmette avenues, where they lived when John Alles sank out of sight. He was a laborer in the employ of the gas company at Wilmette. One morning he started to work with his dinner bucket on his arm, and failed to come back. The police hunted everywhere for him, but in the course of a few months they lost interest and everybody except the abandoned wife was content to suppose that Alles was dead. She took in washing and hired out by the day until Frank was old enough to go to work. About a month ago a friend of Mrs. Alles, who had been in California, told her that he had heard of a man named John Alles working in an orange grove near Whittier, which is twenty-five miles east of Los Angeles. The name was so unusual that Mrs. Alles was sure this must be the missing husband. She persuaded her son to go and find out. When he saw the man in the orange grove, he did not recognize him as his father, but the elder man knew Frank. "You've changed a good deal," he said extending his hand. The only excuse he made for running away was that he had been discouraged. He made no objection to going home with his son. Mrs. Alles saw them coming and stood in the doorway to welcome her husband. He was ever a peculiar and sullen man, betraying little emotion himself and disliking it in others. She remembered this. "Come in, John," she said, "dinner is ready." "I'm awful hungry," said Alles.

Media Type:
Genealogical Resource
Item Types:
Article reverses the names of Frank Alles and his son, John F., who was 10 at the time of his father's disappearance. A slightly different version of this story was published in the Chicago Tribune.
Date of Publication:
5 Apr 1909
Date Of Event:
Personal Name(s):
Alles, Frank Alson
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 42.07225 Longitude: -87.72284
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Wilmette Public Library
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1242 Wilmette Avenue
Wilmette, IL
U.S.A. Phone: 847-256-6930
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Gone Twenty Years, Comes Home Hungry