The United States War Department began construction of a 1,500-bed military hospital on a 235-acre site a mile and a half south of Brigham City on 1 Mzarch 1942. Bushnell General Hospital was completed and its first patients admitted on 10 October of that same year. The sixty-building hospital, built at a cost of nine million dollars, was named for Colonel George E. Bushnell, internationally known specialist in tuberculosis and special consultant to the U.S. Surgeon General in World War I.
From the outset of its construction, Bushnell Hospital affected Brigham City's economy and lifestyle. Local carpenters and painters were hired to work on the project. Proprietors of a local restaurant were commissioned to cook breakfast and prepare sack lunches for more than a hundred construction workers each morning. Townspeople were asked to house the influx of hospital personnel, construction engineers, and laborers in spare rooms in their homes.