Rose Garden PhotographsMaria Julia (Guilio) Defilippi was born June 29, 1875 to Peter and Katherine (Valli) Guilio in San Georgio, Italy. In 1898, the Guilio family emigrated from Italy and settled in Jerome, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory.

Maria married Antonio Defilippi (1868 – 1951) on January 18, 1899. According to her obituary in the Prescott Courier, she was said to be one of the first brides of the Verde Valley.

As a young man, Antonio had emigrated from Italy and moved to Montana before settling in Jerome to work in the mines.  In 1910, Maria worked for the United Verde Copper Mine, where Antonio worked in the smelter.

According to Dorothy Hess Shepard, their granddaughter, “They were very hard working people. I think they had fifteen houses he built and rented out to people. They built the New State Hotel (a boarding house). My grandmother ran the New State Hotel. She fed the people and they lived there. Next to it, he built what they called the ‘House of Joy’ in 1917.”  It was patterned after some of the houses Antonio had seen in Montana.

They had five children:  Rose Mary (who is also honored in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden), Genevieve, Catherine, John and Peter. All five children were sent to school at the Prescott Free Academy, where they boarded during the school term. When the children reached high school age, they traveled to Berkeley, California, to attend school, as there was no high school nearby.

Maria died in Jerome, November 19, 1935, after a short illness. She was buried in Valley View Cemetery in Clarkdale, Arizona.

Donor: William R. Shepard, great-grandson, 2014
Photo Location: RGC MS-39, Box D, F- Defilippi, Maria (Guilio)
Updated: 5/27/2015, Gretchen Hough Eastman