Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Maine link to Myrtles Plantation

For some of you who follow the TAPS ghost-hunting show on the Sci-Fi Network, here is an interesting tidbit. One of the tragic deaths on the grounds of the actively haunted Myrtles Plantation was that of a man born in Maine.

"On December 5, 1865, Mary Cobb hired, William Drew Winter, the husband of her daughter, Sarah Mulford, to act as her agent and attorney and to help her manage the plantation lands. As part of the deal, she gave Sarah and William the Myrtles as their home.

William Winter had been born to Captain Samuel Winter and Sarah Bowman on October 28, 1820 in Bath, Maine. Little is known about his life or how he managed to meet Sarah Mulford Stirling. However, they were married on June 3, 1852 at the Myrtles and together, they had six children, Mary, Sarah, Kate, Ruffin, William and Francis.

Kate died from typhoid at the age of three. The Winter's first lived at Gantmore plantation, near Clinton, Louisiana and then bought a plantation on the west side of the Mississippi known as Arbroath. Twelve years after the death of Ruffin Stirling, and after the Civil War, William was named as agent and attorney by Mary Stirling to help her with the remaining lands, including Ingleside, Crescent Park, Botany Bay and the Myrtles.

In return, Mary gave William the use of the Myrtles as his home. Times were terrible though and Winter was unable to hold onto it. 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 late however, on April 23,the property was sold back Mrs. Sarah M. Winter as the heir of her late 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 soon after, tragedy struck the Myrtles once more.

According to the January 1871 issue of the Point Coupee Democrat newspaper, Winter was teaching a Sunday School lesson in the gentlemen's parlor of the house when he heard someone approach the house on horseback. After the stranger called out to him and told him that he had some business with him, Winter went out onto the side gallery of the house and was shot. He collapsed onto the porch and died.

Those inside of the house, stunned by the sound of gunfire and the retreating horse, hurried outside to find the fallen man. Winter died on January 26, 1871 and was buried the following day at Grace Church. The newspaper reported that a man named E.S. Webber was to stand trial for Winter's murder but no outcome of the case was ever recorded.

As far as is known, Winter's killer remains unidentified and unpunished. Sarah was devastated by the incident and never remarried. She remained at the Myrtles with her mother and brothers until her death in April 1878 at the age of only 44."

Source

3 comments:

TS said...

I found your blog doing genealogy on the Winter's side of my wife's family. William is actually my wife's great-great-great uncle. We did not know that we had a famous ghost in the family. We will have to visit the Myrtles. John

TS said...

I found your blog doing genealogy on the Winter's side of my wife's family. William is actually my wife's great-great-great uncle. We did not know that we had a famous ghost in the family. We will have to visit the Myrtles. John

Michelle said...

Hi John! I'm glad to have been able to post this. It's amazing how many Mainers pop up in places around the country besides our homestate. :) Good luck in your research -- let us know if you find anything else interesting, I'd be happy to share it on the blog as well!