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Mary Ann Sneed was born in Sandersville, Georgia on November 30th, 1940. She grew up in nearby Wrightsville, Georgia in her early years, traveling back and forth to South Florida following seasonal migrant work. When she was eight, her family relocated and settled in Fort Pierce.

Mary Ann Carroll (like many of the Highwaymen) grew up in the Lincoln Park, one of the oldest communities in Fort Pierce. She attended Lincoln Park Academy until dropping out in the ninth grade. She went to work in the gladiola fields, where she would earn one cent for every bundle of twelve flowers collected. She worked many jobs before and during her career in painting, such as restaurant server, truck driver, various home improvements (carpentry, plumbing, painting, cutting lawns), limo driver, and more. Raised to be self-reliant, she had the mindset necessary to overcome the struggle of Jim Crow era Florida and raising seven kids.

Carroll’s introduction to the group came one day in the early 1960s when she met Harold Newton at a local juke joint on Avenue D called Eddie's Place. Newton had flames painted on the side of his Chevy coupe, and Carroll asked if he could show her how to paint like that. Soon after, she saw him painting a Royal Poinciana in his yard and she stopped in to watch. He showed her a few tips, how to mix paint and how use a palette knife, and from then on they built a close platonic relationship. She was then introduced to other friends of Harold’s such as Livingston Roberts, Roy McLendon, and Willie Daniels. At one point Livingston Roberts asked her to drive a few of them on a sales outing (since she was one of the only ones with a car), for which she agreed in exchange for help selling her paintings. That day they showed her the tips and tricks on how to sell, and from that point on she was in.

Most members of the group note that she stood apart being the only female in the group, but she was always a pleasure to have around. She would not partake in the usual drinking and partying like the rest of them, since she had a family to worry about. She notes that everyone was respectful and friendly, all enjoying the camaraderie and success while "learning from each others’ brush strokes."


Carroll’s painting always came second to the two most important things in her life; God and family. Her painting career was able to support her family of seven children throughout the years, and as a single mother that is nothing short of a miracle. In 1998 she founded Foundation Revival Center Church in Fort Pierce, where she preached for twenty years before her passing in 2018. 

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