the establishment of the post office on October 28, 1885 the community of
Bushnell came into existence. The community was named in honor of
J.W. Bushnell, who surveyed the route of the Florida Railway and
Navigation Company Railroad which had recently been constructed through
first public school was established in 1886. Two teachers were
selected, Mrs. William Jones and Mrs. William T. Terrell. In 1913
Bushnell High School had a total enrollment of 145; 14 in ninth and tenth
grades, 96 in Intermediate and 35 in Primary.
numerous elections to select a new county seat after the court house in
Sumterville burned, the court house was moved to Bushnell in 1912.
This event brought about a great anticipation of growth and one result was
the incorporation of the community into the city of Bushnell.
first physician to locate in this area was Dr. G.M.T. Simmons. Other
physicians who opened offices during the early days of the community
included W.C. Gillispie, Wellington Hudnall and Wiley F. Noble. In
1890, the Methodist Episcopal Church Conference established a college in
Bushnell. The great freeze of 1894-95 and the economic conditions
which followed caused the College to move to Leesburg in 1895.
Norwood operated the first hotel in Bushnell. The hotel was located
on Main Street but burned down in 1908. Mr. T.R. Pierce constructed
a two-story house on West Noble Avenue in 1893, it served as his home and
hotel for many years. Later the hotel was the home of Mrs. Anna L.
Beville, wife of Henry Beville. The building which is known now as
the Davis Building was built in 1915 and served as a hotel.
had it's own opera house. It was located on the corner of Main
Street and McCollum Avenue. Local plays and occasional road shows
were performed there. With the coming of motion pictures, patrons
gathered to watch the early movie stars such as Charlie Chaplain and Mary
Pickford. Located southwest of Bushnell, is Dade Battlefield.
Eighty acres were purchased and set aside as a memorial to Major Francis
L. Dade and his men who were massacred December 28, 1835. In 1921
this area was set aside as a park and is now a wonderful place to visit
and take the family.