Mrs. Katherine Sweet Babington was born in 1815 in Chatham County. She grew up around the Masonry traditions and in her late teens began spying on initiations in the Masonic Hall for an entire year until she was caught. Since she had learned all the order's signs, symbols, words and secrets, the prominent Masons decided to administer to her the three degrees of Masonry and she became a Master Mason. Although, in 1712 one other woman in Ireland had become a Mason, Mrs. Babington was the first woman Master Mason in the history of the Masonic order. She died in Shelby, NC in 1886.