The Rock Island Railroad was instrumental in the growth of Rosebud. It was a small settlement in eastern Gasconade County. Upon construction of the tracks for the railroad, a depot was built and the settlement needed a name. According to legend, a representative of the Rock Island Railroad known as “The Major” suggested the name Rosebud after spying a rosebush in full bloom just beyond the depot. The name was discussed with others in the community and with H.R. Grote, postmaster of the Bourbeuse Post Office. Assured there was no other 'Rosebud' in the state of Missouri, the name was approved and a sign was erected over the depot proclaiming the depot stop Rosebud.
The first export of Rosebud via the new railroad was cordwood. This went to a brick kiln in St. Louis. Livestock and produce soon followed, as did passenger service.
Several businesses were in operation in Rosebud during the following years. Among them were a lumber yard, blacksmith shop, two general stores, a hotel, a mill, café, a telephone office, saloon, bank and garages. Clay mining became an important aspect of Rosebud, which continues today.
The Bank of Rosebud closed in 1932 during the depression, never to reopen. The lumber yard, blacksmith, hotel, mill, telephone office and general stores are also memories. Other businesses continue to flourish. Two Ford dealers are located in Rosebud, Ford-New Holland farm implements, owned and managed by Jim Estes’ family, Betty, John and Matt; and Wehmeyer Motor Company, run by the Wehmeyer brothers, Jim, Charles and Roy.
Rosebud is a destination for antique seekers. Located on Highway 50, enroute from St. Louis to the Lake of the Ozarks, travelers can find interesting shops, as well as restaurants along their way.