The White House Barber Shop has been a thriving business in the city of Waxahachie since 1917. It was then that a Chicago man by the last name of “Dom” decided to move south and take up permanent residence in Texas.
This gentleman wanted to open his own barbershop, and he specifically wanted it near the Ellis County Courthouse. Several barbers took over the head clippers after Dom's run ended, yet "there" is where the original business remained — on the historic downtown square until a fire in the neighboring restaurant in January 2011.
Since 1966, only one barber has opened the door each day, first at the original location and now at the new spot: Raul Garcia.
Most native Waxahachie folks know of this well-known businessman and often brag of their link to this hair-cutting legend. According to Raul, he even still uses some of the original barbershop chairs, benches, and mirrors from the very first White House Barber Shop.
The devoted family man has been married to his sweetheart, Mime Garcia, for 51 years and the two have three grown children, Melinda DeKeyser, Jennifer Cole, and Marco Garcia.
Raul, as he is simply and lovingly called, said, “My wife and I feel very blessed to live in Waxahachie, and it is so nice to be the owner of a successful barbershop in this town.”
After the fire in 2011, Raul relocated to 306 North Grand Avenue, and he has been there for the last seven years. He also employs a part-time barber, Dallas Ross, and they have been working side-by-side for about 14 years.
Raul is most proud of the faithful clientele that he seems to have had following him for the better part of the last five decades of cutting hair in Waxahachie.
He boasts, “I have so many old-timers that keep coming back for so long, that I sometimes cut the hair of generations of customers’ sons, grandsons, great-grandsons, etc.”
Raul is famous, not only for the excellent job he does at his craft but because his customers love the bargain price he offers, especially compared to the A-typical other styling salons or barber shops in the area.
For the past eight years, he has advertised a haircut and facial trim of beard, mustache, eyebrows, or whatever else grows on one's face for $10.
Homer Phillips, of Red Oak, stated, “I’ve been coming to Raul since 1994. I always get a great haircut for my money, and I love the guy.”
The dedicated barber is proud of his client base, and he is astonished by the fact that he has customers willing to travel lots of miles to secure his services. He mentioned that some of his friends drive in to see him from places like Burleson, Itasca, Corsicana, Hillsboro, and even uptown Dallas.
Raul gives props to some of his long-time customers like Jeff Frazier, Dr. Marc Roux, Dr. Jones, Billy Bates, Kenneth Dillard, and Bill Vennell. They have been with him too many years to count, he joked.
One of Raul’s favorite visitors is Justin McLemore, who began coming to him when he was the football quarterback for Waxahachie High School in the late 1980s. McLemore continued to regularly come in for haircuts, even after moving to Austin to play college football for the University of Texas. Even today, Raul says, “Justin is now living in Dallas, but he still comes every other week to visit and to get a haircut from his favorite barber.”
During one of Raul’s well-known pranks over the years, he set-up a long-time friend by faking a heart attack while he was shaving the guy with a straight-edge razor. All of a sudden, the guy jumped out of the barber chair and began to check his neck for any cuts. Both men enjoyed a great laugh out of the situation.
At age 74, Raul remains optimistic that he will continue to be a barber, at least for a few more years. The citizens of Waxahachie and the surrounding areas are all counting on him for the time being.
Raul added, “I started my career of being a barber when I was a young man, all because I thought I would enjoy it. After all these years, I still have to admit that I was right. I do like what I do.”