Gomez, Wanti W. [Louis Jones]
Wanti (or Wante) W. Gomez is said to have appeared in Durham, NC, from 'out of nowhere' in 1920. He was first an independent agent with the Mutual Building and Loan Association, and with that major success, he was named director of the company's education department. Gomez left the position and founded the Bankers Fire Insurance Company, which was also a success. Gomez chose a low profile as secretary of the company. Bankers Fire was listed in Best's Insurance Reports, vol. 22, 33rd ed., 1922-23, p. 54, wherein Gomez was credited as having several years of insurance business [online at Google Book Search]. In 1924, he pushed for the establishment of the National Negro Finance Corporation within the National Negro Business League. The Finance Corporation was a complete failure in the late 1920s. Gomez was long gone by that time, having disappeared from Durham in 1926 and taking with him assets from his business, Durham Commercial Security Company. He was never heard from again. It was soon learned that Gomez's real name was Louis Jones and he was a fugitive from Kentucky who was wanted for arson. He had left the Bankers Fire Insurance Company in good standing, and Wanti Gomez is still considered one of the major contributors toward the making of Black Wall Street in Durham. For more see Black Business in the New South, by W. B. Weare; Durham County, by J. B. Anderson and Historic Preservation Society of Durham; "Bankers Fire Insurance Company, Durham, N. C., condition December 31, 1921, as shown by statement filed," The Landmark, 04/27/1922, p.3.