On October 1, 1896, rural free delivery (RFD) service began in Charles Town, Halltown, and Uvilla in West Virginia, Postmaster General Wilson’s home state. Within a year, 44 routes were operating in 29 states. Just five days before Christmas in 1899, the Post Office Department decided to experiment with extending RFD across an entire county. Postmaster General Charles Emory Smith ordered that 63 small Post Offices and the routes of 35 star route contractors and mail messengers be discontinued and that rural free delivery be established in their place in Carroll County, Maryland. County-wide delivery proved viable.