(By Delegates Walters, Manuel, Douglas,

Overington, Doyle, Trump and Faircloth)

Commending the City of Charles Town upon the centennial of the initiation of rural free mail delivery.

Whereas, The United States Postal Service is celebrating the centennial of the advent of rural mail delivery in the United States at the Mail Carriers National Convention in Charleston on August 6, 1996; however, the true birthplace of rural mail delivery is Charles Town, West Virginia; and
Whereas, Before the advent of rural free delivery mail service, mail was delivered to a specific point and left until the addressee called for it and in the 1890's in rural America, a trip to the post office could require the better part of a day's travel for rural postal patrons, a fact which did not go unnoticed by William L. Wilson, United States Postmaster General whose hometown was Charles Town, West Virginia; and
Whereas, On the first day of October, 1896, five mail carriers were dispatched from Charles Town, West Virginia, for the long and winding roads of Jefferson County's country side thereby inaugurating the first rural mail delivery in the United States; and
Whereas, Harry Gibson, one of the five mail carriers from the Charles Town post office is given credit as the first rural delivery carrier, having run practice routes around the CharlesTown area a few weeks prior thereto and on the first day of October, 1896, Harry Gibson's first rural route took him from Charles Town through local communities including Bardane, Shenandoah Junction, Millville, and Bloomery; and
Whereas, The post office at Charles Town thereafter continued to be an innovator in rural mail delivery by the employment of Vesta Jones, who began her forty-one year career as a rural mail carrier at the post office in Charles Town in 1919 and is credited as the first female rural letter carrier in West Virginia and possibly the Nation; and
Whereas, The innovation of rural free mail delivery, whose idea was conceived by an innovative and service minded William Wilson, Postmaster General from Charles Town, West Virginia, should not go unnoticed; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the City of Charles Town and the United States Post Office at Charles Town is hereby commended, congratulated and recognized by the Legislature for originating the service of rural free mail delivery in the United States on October 1, 1896, and joins in the centennial celebration thereof; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates forward a copy of this resolution to the Mayor, City Council and Postmaster of the City of Charles Town.