Mossbarger, Woodfork inducted into Bloomingburg Hall of Fame


BLOOMINGBURG — The 10th-annual Bloomingburg Community Day took place on Saturday and featured two new inductees into the Bloomingburg Hall of Fame.

The two men enshrined posthumously, Harry A. Woodfork and Donald E. Mossbarger, were inducted by local former educator Bob Grim. Grim presented family members of Woodfork and Mossbarger with a certificate and a medal honoring their inductions. The following biographies on Woodfork and Mossbarger were read aloud for those in attendance.

Harry Arnold Woodfork was born and raised in Bloomingburg. He was a very active student at Bloomingburg High School where he was both a scholar and an outstanding athlete playing baseball and basketball. He graduated from Bloomingburg High School in 1949 and received the school’s Best Athlete award that year. In 1951, he married Florence Corrine Smith and they raised a family of six daughters and one son.

In 1951, he became a soldier in the United States Army, serving at Ft. Knox, Ky. and Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. He received an Honorable Medical Disability Discharge and returned to Bloomingburg and accepted employment at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Chillicothe. He retired from there in 1985 after 32 years of service during which time he received numerous awards and commendations for his outstanding work and became a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Harry enjoyed sports and participated for many years as a baseball and softball player, a Babe Ruth and Little League coach and umpire. He was a licensed umpire by the Ohio Baseball Umpire Association.

Harry was a member of the Bloomingburg First Baptist Church and served for several years as a Sunday School teacher and ordained deacon. He was a very active member of the Bloomingburg community working part-time at Dr. Donald E. Mossbarger’s Midland Acres and serving in public office. He was a licensed standardbred racing groom by the United States Trotting Association (USTA) in Ohio and West Virginia.

He was appointed to the Board of Public Affairs by Mayor Max E. Grim in 1969 and was elected three times to that board, concluding his service in 1983. During his tenure he was involved with the upgrade of the village water system and the installation of the village sanitary sewer system.

He was appointed to the village council in 1990 by Mayor Donna Bloomer and was elected to a four-year term in 1992 and again in 1996. During his tenure on council, he served as president and represented the council on the Bloomingburg and Paint Township Cemetery Board.

Harry was an active member of the American Legion Homer Lawson Post 653 in Washington Court House, serving in numerous offices, including commander, and secretary, and was commended several times for his work.

He was a member of the Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons Cedar Grove Lodge 17 in Greenfield. He served as Worshipful Master in 1978 and in 1991 was named the most outstanding secretary in the 2nd District. He also served as High Priest of Lansing Chapter 11 in Greenfield and was a member of Easton Consistory in Columbus. He was recognized by Bloomingburg Free and Accepted Masonic Lodge 449 in 1996 as Bloomingburg’s Most Outstanding Citizen.

Dr. Donald Edward Mossbarger was born in Ross County and graduated from Clarksburg High School in 1940. He attended Ohio State University and studied veterinary medicine; graduating in 1945 with a doctorate of veterinary medicine degree.

Following his graduation, he married Dorothy Ann Curtis. They soon elected to settle in Bloomingburg with his veterinary practice concentrating on large animals. Their five children, JoAnn, John, Jeannie, Jay, and Jan, grew up in Bloomingburg.

Around 1967, he started a Standardbred horse breeding farm in Bloomingburg and it became Midland Acres. This was a major and risky undertaking to transition from being a large animal veterinarian to the horse breeding business, but it proved to be a wise decision. Midland Acres is one of the premier breeding farms in the state of Ohio. In 2014, the United States Trotting Association (USTA) reported that Midland Acres had bred over 1,500 Standardbreds who had combined earnings in excess of $47 million.

In 1987, the Fayette County Fair added a harness race called the Fayette County Classic as a feature race for 2-year-old colts. In recognition of his contribution to harness racing, this race is now known as the Dr. D. E. Mossbarger Fayette County Classic.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame. In 2014, the Delaware County Fair selected him as the 30th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Harness Horseman Association, president of the PACER organization, and Ohio State University also honored him with the University’s Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award for his “outstanding contributions in the advancement of veterinary medicine.”

He was very active in community affairs. He was president of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, president of the Fayette County Board of Health, president of the Fayette County Hereford Association, president of the Bloomingburg Lions Club, and he was selected grand marshal of the Washington Court House Christmas Parade. He was a member of the Bloomingburg Free and Accepted Masons Lodge 449 and the Grace United Methodist Church in Washington Court House. Dr. Mossbarger died on Jan. 1, 2015 at the age of 92 and is buried at Bloomingburg Cemetery.

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