BY JACLYN ROSE –
The son of a Navy sailor, George Davis has experienced a lot of excitement. He was born in Long Beach, California, before moving to Hawaii where he lived during the horrifying attacks of the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. After leaving Hawaii, his family moved to Oregon, where his parents divorced. Eventually, he moved back to California with his mother, to finish high school. “I was parked at a drive-in restaurant where the cars faced each other and I saw some girls in the car facing ours. I was trying to figure out how to get their attention so I pulled some S & H Green Stamps out of my glove compartment and wrote ‘hi’ on my windshield. I like to tell people I got my wife with S & H Stamps,” Davis said with a grin.
Davis married his bride, Rosie, 55 years ago. “We always loved kids but we were not able to have any so we adopted our first child. Soon after, Rosie started to feel queasy and we discovered she was pregnant,” Davis explained. “Our first daughter celebrated her first birthday on June 19 and our second daughter was born on June 20!” The Davis’ went on to have five children in six years and were then blessed with twenty grandkids and five great grandkids. “We are fortunate that all of our children live here, 15 out of our 20 grandkids live here and all of our great grandkids live here. Family involvement is very important to us,” said Davis.
Davis began working for the cable company in California before he was drafted into the military. After boot camp he went to Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he was to receive additional training before going to Korea. While there, it was discovered that he knew cable splicing, so he was asked to spend his two years teaching at Fort Gordon instead of deploying. After finishing, in time, with the service, Davis and his wife moved back to California where he eventually began selling State Farm Insurance. “During that time, my mom passed away and she encouraged me to find my father, who I had no contact with, I did and he was in Mena, Arkansas. We began coming to visit him and liked it here, as it turned out the State Farm agent had passed away so we were able to move my business to Polk County. We bought a house with no bathroom, but it had a double outhouse, which was really nice,” Davis said with a laugh.
The Davis family caravanned to Arkansas in July of 1973, where they have lived and worked ever since. George Davis State Farm Insurance sells auto, life, and fire insurance. They strive to have a personal relationship with all their policy members. During a tragic event, such as the loss of a home, they are immediately on the scene with a check so the family can rent a hotel room and purchase clothing and necessities.
The lack of turnover of Davis’ employees is a good indicator of how easy they are to work with: Kay Hunter has been with them 38 years, Nancy Miller was there for 18 years before she had to leave for health reasons and was replaced with Mary Neese six months ago and Stacy Croft has worked for George Davis State Farm for 11 years.
Recently, they have moved from their building on Highway 71 South to their new facility at 410 Sherwood, where Highway 71 meets Mena Street. “We have owned this building for a long time and when no one was interested in renting it we decided to move our office here and split up the other half into small rentals. At our previous location, the stairs were a problem for some and the parking was minimal, here we have a more modern office with plenty of parking and easier access. We have a beauty salon moving in and hope to rent out the other spaces with possibly a small restaurant and some other businesses,” Davis explained.
“We have never regretted moving to Polk County from Los Angeles. I like the low crime rate and the short and easy drive to work. The community itself is a warm community and people care about other people. We love the small town. We feel that the secret is to insure good people and take good care of them and they will stay with you,” said Davis.