In 1868 at Norwood six men along a five mile rural route hired Jerry Parsons, a Negro who could not read, to deliver and collect mail at their homes each day except Sundays and holidays for his food and clothing. The postmaster at Norwood each morning arranged the mail in correct order and "Uncle Jerry" began his ten mile walk covering, in all, 3,110 miles. Sen. Thomas Watson, then a boy clerking for Hon. T.E. Massengale, observed this perfect plan for Rural Free Delivery. In February 1893, Sen. Watson, then in Congress, sponsored the bill creating Rural Free Delivery, copying "Uncle Jerry's" R.F.D. in Norwood.