City of Bushnell

The City of Bushnell was founded in 1854 when the Northern Cross Railroad built a line through McDonough County. Nehemiah Bushnell was the President of the Railroad, and townspeople honored him by naming their community after him. The railroad later became part of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which continues to operate through Bushnell under the name Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Bushnell was also served by the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway, now the Keokuk Junction Railway. Amtrak trains pass through the city but do not stop.

Noted Unforgettable Forgottonia natives of Bushnell include, famed illustrator Peter Newell, cartoonist Charles Kuhn and the Nagel Brothers who were the first to invent a process of making rolled oats without having to steam the oats. Forever changing the way America ate breakfast. The patent for this new process was later sold to the Quaker Oats Company.

Bushnell is home to the historic Freight House Railroad Depot, Veterans Memorial Public Park, Vaughan & Bushnell hammer manufacturing, Bushnell Locker Service, and Kitchen Cooked Potato Chips as well as many annual festivals including Jeep Blitz.

Bushnell was also host to the Cornerstone music festival, which drew thousands of christian music fans annually.

Visit Bushnell, IL and you’ll discover why it’s called “The Small Town with a Big Heart.”

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