The Omaha guide. (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19??, December 25, 1943, CITY EDITION, Image 8
he Interior View of The Omaha Outfitting Co. NORTH 24 I H S I RF*F i Inhere you can buy anything for the home rom a pin cushion for Grandma to a com plete layout for the baby and all kinds of household ware. Full line of electrical ap pliances. Jewelry of all kind, silver and other trinkets for the dining room, smok ing jackets and smoking sets, engagement and wedding ring sets. If your credit is good downtown—your credit is good at the Omaha Outfitting Co. You can now pay your gas bill, water bill, light bill and also send your telegrams. No more worried crowded street car trips downtown to pay your utility bills. Pay them now at The Omaha Outfitting Co., 24th at Burdette St. Opens New Business Hddition fhk new business The Omaha Out fitting Co. has opened next door PNorth on the corner of 24th and f Burdette with a full line of new, ^and second hand furniture, lino Pleum, carpets, rugs and all kinds of light fixtures. The firm invites you to inspect this new furniture store. We buy, sell and trade. If your credit is good downtown; your credit is good at The Omaha Outfitting Company’s new store. MR. WILLIAM H. DAVIS, proprietor o f The Omaha Outfitting Company, a popular, progressive, young business man. —-A-* A letter from a friend... t Mr. Wm. H. DaviS; Omaha Outfitting Co., The General Store. 2122-24 North 24 th Street , Omaha, Nebraska. . . < Mr. Dear Mr. Davis: Allow me to congratulate you on your enter ing into two new fields of business. I’m sure your furniture store is going to go over big for < that is one thing that we do, is buy and sell furn iture. And I’m sure your newr line of entertain ment for the young folks with the latest bands headed West, will be a success. If there is any thing I can do for you here in Chicago, please feel at liberty to call on me at anytime. i Sincerely yours, « R. S. Simmons, Publicity of the Negro ^ American League, k Dr. J. 13. Martin. Pres. Ernest Wright, Vice Pres., R. S. Simmons, Sec’y, J. L. Wilkerson, Treas. Mr. Davis with the ‘Juke Box King” A view of the “Juke Box King” Louis Jordan and his high class entertainers and a few of their friends. Mr. Wm. H. Davis presented Louis Jordan and his band to Omahans, Dec. 13 and en gaged it for three feature dances, one in Omaha, Kansas City, Mo., and St. Louis, Mo. This is a new line of en deavor. Mr. Davis says, he wants something to entertain the younger set. | He hopes to present all the popular bands to Omahans at the Dreamland Hall. Watch the Omaha Guide for ad vanced notice in topnotch entertain ment. Louis Jordan’s Orchestra was not known very much of until he pulled a $29,000 box office sale at a popular j theatre in Los Angeles, California. He is now enroute to Hollywood to furnish the music for a high class picture. > William H.“Raincoat** Davis Builds Growing Concern from Small Investment Credit to Both Omaha and Race Speaking of the West and the Middle West, Omaha, Nebr., is where the West really begins. With an increased population of 75,000 during these war boom days, the colored population jumping from 13,000 to 24,000 and the total pop ulation is around 284.000 of this colored population, there is one William H. (Raincoat) Davis, who has built a business which is not only credit to Omaha, but to the Negro race. Davis, a natural born salesman, and a young man with a vision, often said he was going to be a business man. In 1920 he started his career with one rain coat as his stock of goods. He sold that coat at a small profit, bought an other and sold it, then another un til he had sold six single coats, one at a time, which placed him in a position to purchase two coats. The young salesman sold two | coats for such a length of time until he was able to purchase three. He continued to single, double, and triple his sales until one day he was able to purchase a dozen coats. Before that year was gone, you could see on the backs of men and women, coats purchased from Davi.i as they strolled along 24th and Lake Streets. It was at Christmas time of that year that he was given the nickname of “Raincoat” Davis. | In 1921, he put forth a double ef fort to do better than he did in 1920. So the following year, be lieving in advertising he secured a bottle of bluing for his blue paint ! and a box of red shoe polish for his red paint and with a ten cent store sign painting brush, at night he would paint signs until every corner and most every place of business in the North Side was literally covered with "Rain Coat” Davis’s merchandise for sale. That year he sold 500 raincoats with a net profit of $1,575.00. Still determining to go further, he did like most successful business men, put his profits back into his busi ness. He is a good mixer, and j makes friends easily even if it ; costs him a piece of money to do so. In 1924, he had Omaha just about covered, and too, from his beginning, this raincoat business was built at intervals while he was not on his run on the Union Pacific Railroad Dining car, and with the full co-operation of his lovely wife Mrs. Grace Davis. Having Omaha well worked, he branched out into the States, us ing a rented automobile. Covering about half of the State, learning that such trips would be a profit, and more profit for himself if he had his own car. In 1925 he pur chased a car of his own, and had it figured down to a gnats hind heel, that the price of the rented car per month would more than make his monthly payments on his own car. It worked out as he had planned and in twelve months the car was his. At the end of 1925 he had his raincoat sales planted throughout Nebraska sell ing to both colored and white. During this adventure, thing < did not always go well with Davis, neither did he get encouragement at all times. Some of his best friends would discourage him say ing you wOT never make a success selling rain coats, why not sell something else. Others would say, man, you are losing time, people will buy raincoats from downtown as they have always done. How ever, there was one friend Robert S. Simmons, who was residing in Omaha at that time who gave him encouragement and assistance. | Simmons first bought a raincoat, he gave Davis weekly publicity through the columns of the Chi cago Defender of w'hich he was a writer and a Distributor in Om aha. and this made Raincoat Davis more popular and well known. To day, Davis gives Simmons much credit for his success. R. S. Sim mons now resides in Chicago and is Publicity Director for the Negro American League with head quart ers in the “Windy City.” On various occasions shipments of raincoats did not arrive on time. Davis would get on the telephone or jump in his car and notify each customer that he had placed an order, explaining why they had not received their coats. Davis never got discouraged, but had a determ ination to make a successful fcu: i ness man. Davis then took the State of , Iowa beginning at Council Bluffs and on into the Dakotas, and car ring his samples to Salt Lake, City, Utah, and Los Angeles, the other ends of his trip when he went out thereby selling on both ends and in the middle. He worked his business in this fashion until about 1935. He open ed a store at 2420 Lake in the Elk’s building with a new line of mer chandise washing machines, and electrical appliances of all kind. His first big display was a double booth in the Omaha Guide’s an nual Food show at the Elk’s build ing later moving to 24th Street and still selling raincoats. His busi ness kept growing. The next year he added a small supply of wearing apparel for men, then women and later children. Expanding his business, the phon ograph records were added along with diamonds, watches, silver ware gifts and a complete line of home furnishings. The store was given the name of “The Omaha Outfitting Company The General Store.” In 1936 Mr. Davis went into the coal business. This line he w as in for three years with Dave Frank at 16th and Isard. He dropped the coal business and opened up the Green Lantern Cafe at 2116 No. 24th St., giving full night and day services, specializing in barbecue. He opened up a drive in parking Garden in the rear with large flood- lights and guest tables. La ter Mr. Davis sold this place of business to Mr. Ernest H. Britt, who now operates the same. Mr. Davis has been active in many civic lines, he was one of the promoters of the Colored Commercial Club which he held an office in a num ber ot years. Today Davis has a $25,000.00 business located at 2122-24 North 24th St. in the Hawkins building bearing the same name, with Mrs. Grace Davis as Manager, Mrs. Marvin Jones, Assistant Manager, and of course the Boss is Mr. W il 11am H. (Raincoat) Davis, the man who built a business with one raincoat.