Rose Garden PhotographsMary (Seago) Brooke was born January 17, 1898, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of William and Georgia Mallard Seago. She graduated from Newcomb College, the women's college of Tulane University. Mary married Hilliard T. Brooke in 1924 in Prescott, where he was undergoing tuberculosis treatment at Fort Whipple. He later became a mayor of Prescott, a state legislator and owned what became Peterson, Brooke, Steiner and Wist Business Supply.

The couple moved to Phoenix and later to San Francisco, where Mary studied social work at the University of California. In 1939, she received her master's degree in social work from Tulane University. After a stay in Los Angeles, they returned to Phoenix in 1940, and then in 1944 moved back to Prescott.

Mary had an active career and also became a leader in community organizations.  She was Chief of social services at the VA Hospital Medical Center for twenty-three years. She was instrumental in the formation of the Yavapai Symphony Association, was a founding board member of Faith House and Planned Parenthood, and helped organize the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and Alcoholics Anonymous of Prescott.

In addition, Mary was the first person appointed to the Arizona Council of Arts and Humanities in 1967, President of the Arizona Conference of Social Welfare, the Arizona Association of University Women, and she served on the boards of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  Honors awarded her include Business Woman of the Year (1953), Social Worker of the Year (1961), Who's Who of American Women (1962), National Achievement Award from Kappa Kappa Gamma (1963), and Prescott Art Docent of the Year Medallion.

She was member of the Prescott Fine Arts Association and the First Congregational Church. She belonged to the Monday Club. At the time of her death, she lived at 527 S. Hassayampa Drive. She had no children. Mary died on July 25, 1987, and is remembered as "a leading citizen and progressive promoter of the arts and social services in Prescott for 63 years."

Donors: Juanita Soderstrom, Sylvia Neely and Ann Tewksbury
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box B, F-Brooke, Mary (Photo is from Yavapai Symphony Program booklet)
Updated: 5/6/2015; D. Sue Kissel