They pioneered near Santa Cruz on a cattle and sheep ranch, later moving to San Francisco, where Gaffey went to high school and then spent a year at the University of California, Berkeley. Her mother was Esperanza de Sepulveda. They had two children, John and Margaret (Mrs John Mell).
Around 1904 or 1905 he moved the family from Los Angeles to San Pedro, where he built a rustic ranch house in 1906, at 1131 West Third Street.
He later moved that house across the street and on the first lot he built a three-story homet, which he named Hacienda Louisiana Rambla. lieutenant was razed in 1964 for the construction of a Young Men’s Christian Association building.
Gaffey died January 9, 1935, in his home. Burial was slated for Valley Church in Watsonville, California.
He left an estate valued at $236,000.
At the age of 20, Gaffey became a reporter with the Santa Cruz Courier in 1879, later founding a short-lived newspaper called the Santa Cruz Herald. Later, he became a law clerk for the California Supreme Court, and in 1892 he was manager for Stephen M. White in his successful campaign for election to the United States. Senate by the California State Legislature. In 1893 he became the first editor of the Los Angeles Herald.
He had mining interests in Mexico, oil interests in Texas and real-estate holdings.
He played a major role in the founding of the Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro. Gaffey Street in San Pedro was named after him., and a plaque memorializes him in the Gaffey Building where he had his office, 333 West Sixth Street in that community.
He was a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee, the Federated Tax Reduction Leagues of the county and the Free Harbor League. He was a member of the Los Angeles City Council in 1892-1894 and was collector of customs in 1890-1893. He was a member of the California State Board of Equalization.