In October 1794,
Still seeking to make his fortune, Woodruff placed an advertisement in the new St. Francisville newspaper in the summer of 1811. He informed the public that "an academy would be opening on the first Monday in September for the reception of students." He planned to offer English, grammar, astronomy, geography, elocution, composition, penmanship and Greek and Latin languages. The academy was short-lived and in 1814 he joined Colonel Hide's cavalry regiment from the Feliciana parish to fight alongside Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. When the War of 1812 had ended, Woodruff returned to Bayou Sara with the intention of studying law.
He began his studies with Judge David Bradford and soon earned his degree. He also fell in love with and married
But times got tough and Winter was unable to hold onto the Myrtles. By December 1867, he was completely bankrupt and the Myrtles was sold by the U.S. Marshal to the New York Warehouse & Security Company on April 15, 1868. Two years later, on April 23, the property was sold back to Sarah as the heir of her father, Ruffin G. Stirling. It is unknown just what occurred to cause this reversal of fortune but it seemed as though things were improving for the family once again.
But a short time later, tragedy struck. According to the January 1871 issue of the Point Coupee Democrat newspaper, Winter was teaching a Sunday School lesson in the gentlemen's parlor when he heard someone approach the house on horseback. The stranger (a suspected E. S. Webber) called out to him relaying he had business to discuss. When Winter went onto the side gallery of the house he was shot. He collapsed on the porch and within minutes died. Those inside hurried outside to find Winter. Winter died on January 26, 1871 and was buried the following day at Grace Church. The newspaper reported that Webber was to stand trial for Winter's murder but no outcome of the case was ever recorded.
Sarah was so devastated that she never married again. She continued living in the home with her mother and siblings until her death in April 1878 at the age of 44.
During a storm, the Williams' oldest son, Harry, was trying to gather stray cattle and fell into the
The home currently is owned by John & Teeta Moss and is now a bed & breakfast. Historical and mystery tours are also offered. The plantation house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.