Ora Mast of Happy Hollow seems to wonder why people are making a fuss about him turning 90 years old. He’s not doing anything special – just living his life as he has for many years: pastoring a church, tending a herd of about 28 beef cattle and performing most of his own chores including cutting and baling hay, and hauling firewood.
He’ll reach the age milestone on Sept. 11, and family members are hosting a party Sept. 2 at the Stone County Fairgrounds. Those who know the longtime community member are invited to attend the event from 2 to 5 p.m.
Ora and wife Edna Mae moved to Stone County in 1969 after selling their farm in Indiana, which included a dairy, crops, hogs and laying hens. He had been involved in dairy cattle since 1952, so it was natural for him to establish a dairy here after clearing more acreage and cleaning up the pastures that had grown up. There were already dairy operations locally, and the Masts purchased equipment from Hayden Shannon. At its peak, the Mast dairy milked 36-37 cows. He operated it until about 1999, then grandson Merlin Bontrager ran it for eight years.
“I could still run a dairy,” Ora commented last week, “but I don’t need to.”
See the complete story in the Aug. 29, 2018 issue.