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by Tumbleweed Smith

I had the privilege of speaking at the Rosebud Chamber of Commerce Banquet this year and enjoyed learning about the Falls County town with a unique name. It was first called Mormon. Other names were Pool’s Crossing and Greer’s Horse Pen. When the railroad came through a mile down the road, the small group of residents moved and decided to call the new town Mullins, to honor one of the settlers who had planted a rose garden. When the post office department rejected the name Mullins, the citizens voted to call the place Rosebud.

Within a few years it had two hospitals, two banks, a newspaper, library, auction barn, grain warehouse, meat processing plant and two cotton gins. Many of the 100-year-old buildings in town have historical markers for their unique architecture. For a while, every house in town had a rose bush.

Diane Dolan of Rosebud says her grandfather came to Texas and became an expert at shearing sheep. “He was so fast and good at it that the farmers said they couldn’t pay him what he charged, so he started teaching school at Flat and The Grove. Later he came to the community of Rogers and opened a store. About the time he heard the railroad was coming to where Rosebud is now located, he got on his bicycle and rode cross-country to get here. There were no roads. On his way here, a man was out in his field plowing with his mules. When my grandfather passed by, the bicycle scared the mules so bad that they ran off.”

Her grandfather settled down in Rosebud and opened a general store. In 1904 he built a new home. That’s where Diane and her husband live now. The house had the first bathtub in Rosebud. It was made out of tin. “It had wooden rails on it,” says Diane. “It was years ago when my uncle Finn was young and mischievous. He usually had a small rifle with him. This tub came in a crate and Finn started shooting holes in the crate, which of course meant the tub was full of holes. They had to get a new tub.”

Her grandfather made wine. “He put it in these big crocks and put it in a storage room out here behind the house. About that time the city was putting in sewer lines for the first time. Men were working on the road by the side of the house and when they got thirsty they went in that storage room and drank up all my grandfather’s wine.”

Diane’s father was born in 1909. “He decided he was going to sell lemonade. My grandmother got him a number ten washtub and he got the lemon and the sugar and he made this big batch of lemonade. He made a sign reading LEMONDADE. ALL YOU CAN DRINK FOR A NICKEL. Across the street from my grandfather’s house was a man named Mr. Brown. He was a big man and rode a big horse. He came riding up and saw the sign and asked my dad if the sign was correct. My dad said it was. So Mr. Brown gave my dad five cents and let his horse drink the lemonade.”

When Diane travels, she gives people a little sticker that has a picture of a rose on it.

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