November 29, 1909
WEARY OF HIS LIFE, HE THROWS IT AWAY
[Special to the Dispatch]
Manassas, Va., November 28 -- William E. Howard, sixty years of age, for a number of years timekeeper for the Southern Railway Company here, committed suicide at his home last night about 11 o'clock by drinking a quantity of chlorofom.
That the act was deliberate and premeditated is shown by the fact that Mr. Howard, just before he drank the poison, wrote several letters, arranging his business affairs. To his wife and their three children he wrote letters stating that he killed himself owing to ill health. In a letter addressed to P. H. Lynch, Mr. Howard stated whom he owed and what disposition he wanted made with his money.
Mr. Howard had been a great sufferer for a number of years, but so patiently did he bear his sufferings that many of his friends did not now his health was not good.
He was accustomed to having spells of despondency, and it was noticed that he was very much depressed on Saturday. He went home as usual, when he closed his office, and after he had eaten supper wrote the letters which he addressed to the members of his family. After writing the letters, Mr. Howard went upstairs, the other members of the family retired. About 11 o'clock Mr. Howard was heard returning to the lower part of the house. His son, Thomas W. Howard, fearing something was wrong with his father, went down to see about him and found him acting in a very strange manner. Mr. Howard told his son that he was not well and wanted to lie down on the lounge. Young Howard suspecting that all was not right, hastened for a doctor, but the drug had gotten in its deadly work, and Mr. Howard died shortly after a physician arrived.