The Booths: Cranbrook's Founders

Ellen Scripps Booth & George Gough Booth on the terrace of Cranbrook House ca 1915. Copyright Cranbrook Archives.

The founders of Cranbrook, George and Ellen Booth, came from very different backgrounds, but together their shared vision created the Cranbrook you see today.

Ellen’s father, James Scripps, was the prosperous newspaper publisher of the Detroit Evening News; which we now know today as The Detroit News. Ellen had a refined and affluent upbringing. She was well-educated and well-travelled.

George Booth was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in Windsor, Canada. Although George was only able to attend school until the age of 14, he was part owner of a metal business in Windsor by the age of 21.

The young couple met at the Church of the Epiphany in Detroit and were married in 1887. After their marriage, George was asked to join the Scripps family newspaper business. He started out as the business manager and went on to become the president and publisher of the paper. With his brothers, Ralph and Edmund, he also established Booth Newspapers, the largest newspaper chain in Michigan. This was the basis of his personal wealth and it took this money, along with income from Ellen’s shares of the Evening News stock, to create all of Cranbrook.