Ezra B. Newton


From the Fitchburg Sentinel, February 1985.

“Ezra B. Newton, who has for many years been known as the oldest Shaker in the country, celebrated his 100th birthday, at Harvard, Sunday.

The event was celebrated by the Shaker community and the centenarian received many hearty congratulations from Boston and Worcester relatives, the members of the Shaker community in this town and of Shirley, while from all the country round came those who have known him since his advent into Shakerdom to pay their respects.

His life has been quite eventful. Ezra Newton came here 47 years ago, and until about two years ago, he was in quite robust health. Mentally is is still active. His special care, the past few years, has been hens, of which there was quite a flock. For each fowl, he has a name by which he always calls it. He is a great lover of animals and birds.”

Ezra Newton and family a

1895 photo of Ezra Newton (left) at age 101. Seated next to him are Marshie Bullard and Ann Walker. At this time, only the Church family Shakers was still open. (Courtesy Harvard Historical Society)