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Biography of Martin O. Senseny

Martin O. Senseny, president and treasurer of the Racine Malleable & Wrought Iron Company, has been connected with this business since 1906 and its development within the past decade is attributable in substantial measure to his efforts and keen business discernment. A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Senseny was born in 1852, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth Senseny. His mother died when he was but a few weeks old and his father when the boy was but three years of age, so that he was reared by his grandparents. He became a school teacher and later a bookkeeper and for a time was associated with the Eberhard Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, but in 1906 removed to Racine and purchased an interest in the Racine Malleable & Wrought Iron Company, which had been organized in 1884. The present officers are: O. Senseny, president and treasurer: W. H. Houssman, of Cleveland, vice president, and Charles Van Ornum, secretary. The plant is located at Twenty-first and South Clark streets, where the company owns ten acres of ground with buildings covering half of that amount. The original plant was located on the north side, but was burned in July, 1898, and at that time the company selected the present location, erecting two story buildings in which they installed modern equipment to facilitate the work. In June, 1915, a cyclone struck the plant and demolished the top story of all four of the buildings, causing a loss of about thirty-five thousand dollars. They employ two hundred and fifty men, most of whom are skilled workmen, and they manufacture castings, wagon and carriage hardware, harness chains and special castings. Their output is sold to jobbers and goes all over the United States. The business is one of those which has won for Racine its enviable reputation as a manufacturing center and capable management marks the conduct of the business in every department.

In 1883 Mr. Senseny was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Chapman, of Fort Wayne, who died in the year 1907, leaving a son and daughter: Herbert, who is now a practicing physician at Fort Wayne; and Helen, who is a graduate of the high school of Fort. Wayne. Mr. Senseny belongs to the Masonic fraternity and the Elks’ lodge and also has membership in the Methodist church. His political allegiance is given to the Republican Party and he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day. His position upon any vital question is never an equivocal one. He stands loyally for what he believes to be right and his enterprise and industry are manifest not only in his business career but in his support and advocacy of all those measures which he deems of worth to the community.

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