This Week in Concord History

July 10, 1879: John B. Buzzell is hanged at the state prison. Buzzell broke off his engagement with a young woman. She sued him for breach of promise, and he hired a young man to kill her. The young man fired a pistol through her window, blowing her head off. Buzzell was acquitted of murder. Later, when the hired gun turned state’s evidence to save his own hide, Buzzell was convicted as an accessory to murder and sentenced to die. As he awaited the noose, his case was used by legislative proponents of a measure to abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. The measure failed.

July 10, 1927: A U.S. Army flying school opens at Concord airport with the arrival of the first class of 20 pilots in training. With the opening of the school, the Monitor reports, Concord becomes the air defense site for “all that territory in a triangle running from Concord to the fishing port of Gloucester and its splendid harbor, west to the more important commercial harbor at Portland and back to Concord.”

July 11, 1824: Dr. Asa McFarland, Concord’s Congregationalist minister, writes to the town requesting that the contract obliging the town to pay him as a town officer be terminated. At their 1825 town meeting, Concord voters will honor this request. From this time forward, according to an 1850 town report, “no money has ever been raised by the town, in the capacity of a parish, or for the support of preaching.”

July 11, 2003: Concord officials announce the disappearance of Sarah Gehring, 14, and Philip Gehring, 11, in a hastily called press conference. Six days after the brother and sister left the Concord fireworks display following a public argument with their father, the police arrested the father, Manuel Gehring, on child custody charges in California.

July 12, 1854: On a tip, the Concord police raid a Pearl Street paint shop and break up a gambling den. Six men and boys are arrested and fined $5.

July 12, 1927: Mayor Fred Marden says he has received a telegram informing him that Col. Charles Lindbergh will soon fly to Concord in the Spirit of St. Louis.

July 13, 1860: The grounds of the city’s new cemetery on Blossom Hill are consecrated. The site is a favorite picnic and party spot, but with population having grown from 4,903 in 1840 to 10,896 in 1860, the city is running out of cemetery space. It buys the 30 acres for $4,500.

July 13, 1987: Consultants urge the Concord City Council to widen Fisherville Road to four lanes to ease traffic. “Some of the improvement we are recommending should be done as soon as possible,” the consultants say. Stay tuned.

July 13, 2003: Authorities continue their search for Sarah and Philip Gehring of Concord in the Midwest. The 14- and 11-year-old were last seen with their father, 44-year-old Manuel Gehring of Concord, at the Memorial Field fireworks on July 4. FBI agents and local authorities scour highways and open land for the bodies of the two missing children by air and by ground, but do not find them.

July 14, 2002: A fire destroys a Maple Street home in Concord. Nobody is hurt.

July 15, 1822: The hail that falls in Concord today is “of a sufficient size to break glass and cut down the corn,” according to a local history.

July 15, 1832: Six convicts escape from the state prison in Concord by splitting a stone in the roofing of their cell and letting themselves down the wall by their blankets. Four are captured in Hopkinton, one in Grantham. One is never found.

July 16, 1821: Mary Baker Eddy is born in Bow. In February 1866, she will write of healing herself from what a doctor diagnosed as a fatal fall on the ice. Out of this experience is born Christian Science. Eddy will found the Church of Christ, Scientist, in 1879.

July 16, 1992: The Drifters play Main Street during Concord’s annual downtown summer sale.

Author: Insider Staff

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