Gaff Servants

The Gaffs hired both full-time servants as well as part-time. The full-time staff could consist of a nursemaid, chamber maids, a cook, coachmen, and gardeners. In 1870, for instance, there were eight servants living and working at Hillforest, typically there were fewer. These servants were almost always immigrants who had previously lived in Cincinnati. Many were from Germany, Ireland, and England. It is also believed that the Gaffs hired part-time servants from Aurora, who did not stay at the house at night. One example of a servant was Elizabeth “Nettie” Hatmaker, who was a German immigrant that had worked as a teacher in Cincinnati. She is listed in the 1880 census as living at Hillforest and working, alongside her sister Mary, as a nurse. Nettie is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery, the same cemetery that holds the remains of the Gaff family.