Barker, Sister (Ruth) Mildred
- Daniel W. Patterson
(b Providence, RI, Feb 3, 1897; d Sabbathday Lake, New Gloucester, ME, Jan 25, 1990). American Shaker singer and songleader. After her father died, when she was seven, she lived with the Shaker Society in Alfred, Maine; she later became a member of the society and lived there until it disbanded in 1931. With other members she moved to the Shaker Society at Sabbathday Lake, New Gloucester, Maine, where for many years she tended to young people and from 1947 was a trustee; she became the spiritual leader of the community in 1972. She learned by ear several hundred spirituals and gospel hymns in the traditional Shaker repertory, and also studied piano; her excellent singing voice and reliable memory enabled her to become the songleader in Shaker services. She wrote several commentaries on early songs, as well as biographical, historical, and devotional articles and poems for the Shaker Quarterly...