Of the five Newton brothers, three survived to adulthood—Harold, Lemuel, and Samuel. Samuel D. Newton was born in 1948 in Tifton, Georgia where he attended both Wilson and Industrial Elementary Schools and some high school before his family moved to Florida in 1962. Sam and his brothers attended Gifford High School in Gifford, Florida, just north of Vero Beach. This is when he began painting alongside his brother Harold Newton. Sam Newton took great pride in producing quality works and was known to paint much more slowly than the other Highwaymen. His paintings are known for a very high level of detail and his keen eye and skill for mixing colors. Sam refused to subscribe to the sizing guidelines that Hair’s followers used to make believing that this helped make the paintings more transportable. Sam Newton often produced paintings that were much larger at 18×24 inches and 16×20 inches.
Later in life, Sam often called himself a ‘Highwaymen Not,’ to disavow belonging to the group. Although his early work was painted on Upson board and Masonite and he sold paintings from his car and framed his paintings in traditional Highwaymen style, he resented the notion that his artwork was hastily thrown together for quick sales in any cookie cutter type fashion. He disliked the idea that his soulful creative life force or psyche would be diminished by anything so dismissive. Sam studied his environment, studied his art and meditated on the rich luxury of the details. Also, some suspect there may have been a vein of competition running through the Fort Pierce contingency versus the Gifford group of painters.
Sam now lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his wife, Monica, daughter Samurai, and stepsons Kentia and Joseph. Sam also has a son, Sam Jr., who lives in Cocoa Florida and three children who reside in Fort Pierce, daughter Alice, sons Dwayne and Tracy. Tracy is carrying on in the painting tradition as is daughter Samurai. They own the Samuel Newton Sr. Art Gallery & Studio in Cocoa, FL where they sell original works of art and offer painting instructions to students of all ages.