The Omaha guide. (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19??, December 25, 1943, CITY EDITION, Image 8

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    he Interior View of The Omaha Outfitting Co.
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.
DAVIS, proprietor o f
The Omaha Outfitting
Company, a popular,
progressive, young
business man.
A letter from
a friend...
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,
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
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
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