Caroline W. D. Rich

Mary Dillingham Chapter was organized January 1895 as the second chapter in Maine. The organizing Chapter Regent was Mrs. Caroline Webster Stockbridge Downs Rich, daughter of John Stockbridge, Jr. and Anna Leavitt; granddaughter of John Stockbridge and Mary Dillingham of Byron, Maine and Joseph Leavitt and Anna Stevens of Turner, Maine.

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The chapter name was selected for Mrs. Rich's grandmother, Mary Dillingham, born in Hanover, Massachusetts, in Coos Canyon in Byron1757. She was married in 1786 to John Stockbridge, born in Pembroke, Massachusetts, in 1757. He served in the Revolutionary War for seven years. After their marriage, they moved to Freeport, Maine, where five children were born to them. They later moved to Dixfield, Maine, for a time, where he taught school and worked as a surveyor. While he was surveying in the wilds of No. 6, later named Byron, he decided to relocate there. This is where the Stockbridges spent their remaining years and they are buried there. Caroline was born and grew up in Byron and she named the chapter for her beloved grandmother.

Shortly after the Mary Dillingham Chapter was formed by the twelve women, there was a fire that destroyed the Lewiston City Hall. Many of the old Manufacturers' and Mechanics' Lending Library were lost.

These ladies quickly decided on a project to provide a public library for Lewiston.  Regent Caroline W. D. Rich lived on Faculty Row next door to Helen Frye White, daughter of Senator William P. Frye, who was then President Pro-tem of theLewiston Library Senate. Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie was providing funds for libraries in many places.  The political  connection with Senator William P. Frye soon secured a gift of $50,000 from Mr. Carnegie to build this elegant library for the city of Lewiston. 

A lovely granite building on the corner of Pine and Park Streets was opened to the public in 1903.  The Board of Trustees always includes a member of the Mary Dillingham Chapter DAR. 

This building is still in use as a library today and has been expanded.