Bushnell Days: Bushnell and Brigham City
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Bushnell and Brigham City
Brigham City celebrated when it was chosen over other Utah locations, like Cedar City and Price, for the location of Bushnell General Military Hospital. Previously, Brigham City had resisted having Utah State University built in its borders, letting it go to Logan instead. In this case, however, the residents were convinced of the benefit of welcoming the government institution, especially with the jobs and economic growth it would bring.
Bushnell would have a far-reaching impact on Brigham City, which before World War II was a small, mostly rural community. The city experienced a population boom and housing shortage starting with the construction of the hospital, to the extent that nearly every vacant room in Brigham City was filled with people working at Bushnell or family members of Bushnell patients who wanted to be close to their loved ones. A taxi and bus service connected the city with the hospital which was, at the time, on its southern edge.
Dances and other activities for the soldiers were common in the community, and girls from local colleges were encouraged to attend. People from throughout northern Utah donated supplies and time to help Bushnell. The hospital employed hundreds of civilians from Brigham City and other parts of Utah while the soldiers stationed at Bushnell or recovering there as patients flooded the city, bolstering local business.