“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rosebud in Rosebud County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

St. Philip's Episcopal Church

(Rosebud Community Chapel)

St. Philip's Episcopal Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
1. St. Philip's Episcopal Church Marker
Inscription.  From its origins as a railroad siding established by the Northern Pacific in 1882, Rosebud grew into a bustling homesteading community. The town boasted 300 residents when Fred and Mary Mefford arrived from the Midwest in 1896, bringing with them a strong religious faith and a commitment to community building. A devout Episcopalian, Mary founded a sewing circle, which evolved into an active church guild, and taught Sunday school. Fred arranged for the Miles City minister to travel regularly to Rosebud to hold services in the schoolhouse. In 1906 they decided to build a church. Fred donated the land and hired local builder Alfred Drescher to supervise construction. He also wrote off a $300 debt owed to his hardware store in exchange for cottonwood logs, which farmer Billy Merrill cut from his land and hauled to the church site. The resultant square-notched log church, named St. Philip’s Episcopal, features decorative shingles in the south gable end; a square, hip-roofed bell tower; and Gothic arched windows with stained glass imported from Bavaria. Nearly everyone in town (Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians alike) helped with construction in
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some way. Store owner Rod McCrae, who also served Rosebud as postmaster, justice of the peace, and first schoolteacher, donated the church bell, which came upriver by steamboat. Proceeds from a St. Patrick’s Day dance provided money to purchase the church’s first organ. In 1968, the Episcopal diocese sold the building; today, the church operates as the Rosebud Community Chapel.
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1882.
Location. 46° 16.551′ N, 106° 26.415′ W. Marker is in Rosebud, Montana, in Rosebud County. Marker is on Main Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 433, Rosebud MT 59347, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Seventh Passes in Review (approx. 0.2 miles away); Scouting South of the Yellowstone (approx. ¾ mile away); Rosebud Creek (approx. 1.7 miles away); Ready to March (approx. 2.2 miles away); Join the Voyage of Discovery (approx. 6.4 miles away); The Hell Creek Formation (approx. 6.4 miles away); Cattle Brands (approx. 6.4 miles away); Rosebud (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rosebud.
Additional commentary.
St. Philip's Episcopal Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
2. St. Philip's Episcopal Church Marker
What I knew as Rosebud Chapel, in Rosebud, MT where I “got born-again.” Two weeks after being born again in ’75, I for 5 years ran many of the church services there, our addition to the parsonage we left attached when we went out to the Left coast to teach in Christian schools under Dick Morrisette, the Superintendent of Rosebud that help lead me to the Lord in '75.

After returning to MT, from no being able to raise a family, I finished out my contract teaching in '06 and during that time Dick came back to Hardin, his hometown and pastored at Hardin Open Bible Church and I wrote his paychecks. Haha.

Photo No. 4 is a 1910, I think, photo of the interior of the church, pews brought up on the sternwheeler Farwest, the same boat that supplied Custer up Rosebud Creek on his last horse ride. In ’78 ten of the pews from my home church in Glenwood, MN, were brought out in a cattle truck by my pastor from MN to replace those 1900s pews.
—Respectfully submitted by Robert Cheeseman-
    — Submitted March 21, 2024.
St. Philip's Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, September 13, 2020
3. St. Philip's Episcopal Church
St. Philip's Episcopal Church Interior Circa 1910 image. Click for full size.
in the collection of Robert Cheeseman, circa 1910
4. St. Philip's Episcopal Church Interior Circa 1910
This little church was also known as Rosebud Chapel.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 21, 2024. It was originally submitted on January 13, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 155 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 13, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   4. submitted on March 21, 2024, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Apr. 21, 2024