Ernest Eugene Wells, 21 year old Dallas boy, a soldier at Camp Travis, drained a bottle of carbolic acid while his father waited to take him to the train this morning. He died 20 minutes later at Emergency Hospital. Wells young wife is ill. Ever since he came home on furlough she has laid at the point of death. Although he was home without leave, for his furlough expired Saturday, he remained at her bedside. Today the boy’s father persuaded him to return to camp. Wells was four miles east of Wylie when he came into town with his father, J. D. Wells, and they stopped at the Central Wagon Yard. While Wells hitched up the team and buggy to take his son to the train, the boy lingered with the bottle of poison and thought of the long months of loneliness and longing for
He managed to get into the buggy, he turned his head away choking back the tears. He withdrew the bottle from his pocket and calling his father’s attention to a passing car he drank the poison. Wells turned to see his son at his feet. The wild dash of the city ambulance down Elm Street, which defied the law of safety, yet under estimating driver Fred Williams escaped accident and had young Wells on the operating table in Emergency hospital in six minutes after his father gave the alarm.
Dr. V. P. Armstrong at Emergency worked frantically to save the boy’s life, but in 15 minutes Wells was dead. “Don’t for God’s sake, tell them at home,” pleaded the father as Dr. Armstrong started to telephone. “They have only been married since war was declared,” explained the grief-stricken father, “and she is only 19. The boy was called in the first draft and she has grieved for him until we think she is going to die, too.” Wells was a member of Co. F. 359th Infantry, National Army. His regiment has been at Camp Travis for nearly a year and is ready for departure.
Note: Ernest E. “Ernie” was married to Mollie Forster. He died in 1918. She never remarried. The Central Wagon Yard was located on the grounds that later became part of the State Fair of Texas.
Information, 1918 Article from unknown Dallas newspaper.