George Hafer, Sr., was born in 1834 at Canton, Ohio, and died, at the age of 83, on January 31, 1917, at his home at 3603 Washington Avenue, Avondale.
At 24 (1858), he traveled to Cincinnati to work as a clerk for the banking firm of Gilmore, Dunlap & Company. After four years (1862), he left to join with John Duddy in the tobacco commission business. He stayed with that business for 12 years (1874).
When the Cincinnati, Lebanon and Northern Railroad went into receivership in 1884, Mr. Hafer was appointed receiver. He put the railroad on good financial grounds and was rewarded with the office of President. The railroad was built through the future village of Norwood, contributing a major factor in its creation and growth.
The Hedger's Addition to Norwood Subdivision is another connection of Hafer and Norwood. Robert Hedger, Jas. Bradford, G. H. Hafer and Maddox & Hobart purchased a farm of 50 acres just south of the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad tracks, next to land owned by T. T. Drake, one of the "old settlers," and Chas. F. Low's, Auditor and Secretary of the M. & C. Railroad. Hafer deeded some land in this subdivision for a Village Town Hall. Today, Norwood City Hall sits on that site.
Geo. Hafer was listed as the Mayor of Avondale in the 1894 "Official Reports of Avondale." In that document, Hafer said, "I hope that we will be a part of the City of Cincinnati very soon. I think it will be a great benefit to the Village and also to the City." His wish became true when Avondale was annexed on May 8, 1896; he was the last mayor of Avondale. Perhaps, he had the same thoughts for Norwood. In 1916, at the dedication of the new Norwood City Hall, Hafer said that all thought of annexation be put aside until Norwood has improved the city's streets, indicating that Norwood should be annexed by Cincinnati eventually.
At his death in 1917, Mr.Hafer was survived by his widow, Kate M. Hafer, and four children, George Hafer, Jr., New York; Frank Hafer, Toledo; Edward Hafer, Cincinnati (some newspaper articles did not mention Edward); and Mrs. Walter (Katherine H.) Brown, Toledo; a sister, Mrs. Mary C. Mills, and a granddaugter, Jean S. Hafer.