The White Elephant

The last patient leaving Bushnell General Military Hospital
The last patient left Bushnell Hospital in 1946, leaving the site with an uncertain future.

The US Army had assured Brigham City that Bushnell Hospital would be a long-term institution, but as World War II came to a close, it began eyeing a location closer to Salt Lake City for a permanent veterans hospital. Brigham City raised a protest, but the last patient left Bushnell in 1946, leaving Brigham City with what amounted to a deserted town sprawling along its southern border. The state looked at various uses for this “white elephant,” including a youth rehabilitation facility, a mental hospital, and a school for the deaf and blind—perhaps even combined into one, though this idea was dismissed as impractical. It looked for a time like Bushnell might become a military school until the idea was put forth to turn it into a boarding school for the Navajo Nation.

Sources for this Page

“Bushnell Hospital Goes on the Block,” Salt Lake Telegram, November 5, 1948, available at https://digitalnewspapers.org/.
“Bushnell - White Elephant or Opportunity for Utah?” Salt Lake Telegram, August 9, 1946, available at https://digitalnewspapers.org/.
“Good Prospects for School at Bushnell,” Salt Lake Telegram, January 5, 1949, available at https://digitalnewspapers.org/.