Founded by Raphael Weill, a pioneering San Francisco merchant who emigrated from France and arrived in San Francisco in 1855. Within three years, he had become a partner of the J.W. Davidson Dry Goods Store. By 1885, the Davidson Dry Goods Store became Raphael Weill and Company, and the store itself became known as the White House. Widely known for its fine merchandise and excellent employer-employee relations, the White House moved three times before it closed in 1966.