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With 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 this area.

The 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.

After 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. 

The 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.

A.N. 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.

Bushnell 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.