Biography of David B. Senger

David B. Senger, born near Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, on July 8, 1849, is a prominent businessman in Franklin Grove, Illinois, known for manufacturing “Dr. Wrightsman’s Sovereign Balm of Life.” His parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (Bayer) Senger, relocated to Iowa in 1865. David, the eldest of four children, received his education in Iowa and initially worked as a shoemaker and teacher before moving to Illinois in 1873. He bought the Franklin Reporter in 1876 and later focused on medicine manufacturing, establishing a successful business. Married to Susan Buck in 1875, they have three children and are active members of the German Baptist Church.

David B. Senger is carrying on a large and profitable business at Franklin Grove as manufacturer of “Dr. Wrightsman’s Sovereign Balm of Life.” Mr. Senger was born near the town of Waynesboro, Pa., July 8, 1849, coming from one of the old families of that state, which has been represented there for several generations. He is a son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Bayer) Senger, who moved to Iowa in 1865 and settled near the city of Cedar Rapids, where the father carried on his trade as a shoemaker for some years. He is now a resident of Ogle County, this state. His wife, the mother of our subject, died in Iowa, in December 1887, in the seventy-first year of her age. They had a family of four children, of whom David B. is the eldest. The others are Mary, wife of James B. Menzer, of Linn County, Iowa; George, a resident of Linn County, Iowa; and Joel, who is with his brother of whom we write.

The subject of this biographical review received a substantial education in the common schools and in Western College in Iowa, and in early life, he learned the trade of a shoemaker. After he attained manhood, he entered the profession of a teacher, engaging in that vocation in Iowa, and it was in that capacity that he came to Lee County in 1873. He taught school near Franklin Grove for three winters, and then turned his attention to still another profession, entering the editorial ranks, purchasing the Franklin Reporter, in August 1876, and was successfully engaged in editing and publishing it until October 1886, when the demands of his business obliged him to abandon journalism and confine himself to the manufacture of medicine. In November 1881, he had associated himself with George W. Lipe, a druggist of the village, in the purchase of Dr. Wrightsman’s “Sovereign Balm of Life,” and they commenced its manufacture under the firm style of Senger & Lipe. In 1888 Mr. Senger purchased his partner’s interest in the concern and has since conducted the business alone. His establishment is well fitted up with all the appliances and machinery necessary for the most careful and best possible preparation of the medicine, and none but the purest ingredients are used in compounding it. Under our subject’s energetic and practical mode of carrying on the business, the sales, which for the first few years amounted to only $300, now bring in $10,000 annually, and the medicine is now sold in over twenty states in the Union, the druggists all over the country being the medium of sale, and an idea of the extent of the business, which is all done by mail, may be gathered by the fact that $1,100 worth of stamps are required every year.

Mr. Senger was happily married March 18, 1875, to Miss Susan Buck, a native of Franklin Grove, and a daughter of Henry and Mary Buck. Three of the six children born to them are living: Eda A., Ray W., and Frank H. Mr. Senger is a member of the German Baptist Church, and he and his wife are highly thought of in the community where they have established a pleasant home. He is public-spirited and encourages all plans for the material benefit of town and county, as well as using his influence for their moral and religious elevation.


Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and biographical record of Lee County, Illinois, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States, Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1892.

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