Last month’s mystery postcard was sent by Guss, an Oakley farmer, to his cousin in Pennsylvania. In the message, he mentioned his crops and joining a large crowd to see Taft, but offered no information about where he saw the president.
Lois Wheeler contacted Historian Carol Jensen regarding the postcard, offering some information about Guss. According to Ancestry.com, Levi Lewis Guss was born on July 10, 1849 in Juniata, Penn. According to the 1892 Contra Costa California voters’ registration from 1866-1898, Wheeler also learned Guss was 5 feet 11 inches, had a ruddy complexion, light blue eyes and brown hair and a scar on his left eyebrow. According to the census of 1920, he was an unmarried fruit farmer in Oakley.
Margaret Light from Brentwood in Los Angeles County noted that Taft, the nation’s 27th president, came to San Francisco for the groundbreaking of the Panama Pacific International Exhibition. On Saturday, Oct. 11, 1911, Taft traveled by parade from the St. Francis Hotel to Golden Gate Park, where he hefted the first ceremonial spade of dirt for the exhibition’s official groundbreaking. The sterling silver ceremonial shovel crated by Shreve & Co. is still admired at the California Historical Society.
Those with more information regarding this postcard are invited to e-mail Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.