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Emma Rothe and Merton Elmer Farr Papers

Identifier: 2020-05

Collection Scope

The papers concern almost exclusively, estate, legal and financial records of Carolyn Farr Booth's parents, Emma Rothe and Merton Elmer Farr. There are papers pertaining to probate records for both parties, a tax court case filed by M.E. Farr, papers on purchase of a crypt at Woodlawn and other documents related to the Clayton Cemetery in New York. There are two ledgers related to financial and personal holdings.

Photocopies of M.E. Farr wallet contents include documents, news clippings, etc. date to Farr’s time in Marquette, Neb., at the turn of the 19th century, and include letters to M.E. Farr from the treasurer of Detroit Dry Dock re: Farr’s proposal to buy Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co. bonds, and newspaper clippings on his marriage to Emma Rothe.


  • 1886 - 1954
  • Majority of material found within 1924 - 1954



Access to the collection is unrestricted.


Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.


Emma Rothe was born on January 11, 1867 in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, daughter of William Rothe, a contractor and mine owner, and his wife, Christine. Merton Elmer Farr was born on October 5, 1863, in Clayton, New York, the son of LaFayette Farr and Amanda Steel Farr. Merton met Emma in Marquette, Nebraska, where he was a cashier at the Marquette Bank and they were married on May 5, 1887 in Marquette.

The Farrs came to Detroit in 1892 and Merton began working for the Detroit Shipbuilding Co.; by 1907 he was president of the company. The firm merged with the American Shipbuilding Co., headquartered in Cleveland, and he remained president of the merged companies until 1924, retiring as a director of the company in 1941. A ship built by the Detroit Shipbuilding Co., in 1920, was named after him.

Carolyn Farr, married to Henry Scripps Booth on September 27, 1924, was the daughter of Emma and Merton. Their other children were: Elva Farr Sloane; Amy Farr Gerhauser; Lee Merton Farr; Louis Rothe Farr; Everett Lafayette Farr; and Frederick Towne Farr.

Emma died May 28, 1946 and Merton on September 27, 1949, both in Grosse Pointe Farms. They are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.


.8 Linear Feet (2 MS)

Language of Materials



Emma and Merton Farr are the parents of Carolyn Farr, who married Henry Scripps Booth on September 27, 1924. This collection contains the estate, legal, and financial records of Emma Rothe and Merton Elmer Farr.


The collection is arranged by topic, and within each folder, chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was removed from the Henry S. Booth and Carolyn Farr Booth Papers (1982-05).


Removed from the Henry S. Booth and Carolyn Farr Booth Papers.

Related Materials

Henry Scripps Booth and Carolyn Farr Booth Papers (1982-05)

Separated Materials

The contents of a leather wallet, owned by M.E. Farr, have been removed, copied, and kept separate and in order by originating pocket.

Processing History

Cheri Y. Gay, 2012.

Guide to the Emma Rothe and Merton Elmer Farr Papers
Cheri Y. Gay
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository