Ancestors, Legends & Time

A persistent love affair

Picture of Jeanne Newby

Jeanne Newby

February 14, 2024

In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, we will share a true Webb City Love Story. Let’s take a step back into the past… 1903.

Pansy Brasuer and Chandos McMullen, a young couple very much in love, decided to take fate into their own hands. Pansy’s mother did not approve of their courtship and voiced her opinion very strongly. So Pansy and Chandos made plans to elope.

The year was 1903 and all the details had been worked out. Chandos was to sneak over to Pansy’s house late in the night and she would quietly tiptoe out of the house to meet him in the yard. Well, somehow, Pansy’s mother got word of the romantic plans, and she put a stop to it by meeting Pansy in the process of her escape. As she locked Pansy in her bedroom, Pansy was frantic because she had no way of letting Chandos know why she had not shown for their romantic elopement. Meanwhile, Chandos patiently waited outside all night for the love of his life to join him. He never doubted for a moment that his sweet lady would eventually show and they would be on their way.

As daylight dawned, Chandos quietly wandered over to Pansy’s best friend’s house. He told Nellie Pratt about Pansy not showing up for their plans to elope. Nellie investigated and found out what Pansy’s mother had done. Nellie helped Pansy to meet with Chandos that morning and through tears of love, they said their goodbyes to each other. Pansy just couldn’t go against her mother’s wishes.

As soon as the goodbyes were said, Pansy’s life drastically changed. Her mother whisked her away to the Frisco train depot and Pansy was sent out of town to visit relatives. Her mother hoped it would help Pansy to forget her foolish notion that she was in love. Pansy’s mother was pretty confident that she had the situation well under control. For the next year, Pansy would come home occasionally to visit her family.

Young love being what it is, Pansy never let her mother know that while she was in town she would secretly meet with Chandos, thanks to the help of her best friend, Nellie. Pansy and Chandos were still in love. Meanwhile, Chandos had gotten employment at the Hoffman Music House on Webb Street as a piano tuner. In his spare time, he wrote songs and a few of his songs were sung at the local theatres. Chandos was becoming quite popular around town and he had a great reputation. Many folks around town were aware of the young couple’s romantic dilemma and they sympathized with them.

In late October of 1904, Pansy came to town for a visit. She and her sister, Lalah, decided to attend the St. Louis World’s Fair. Their train was halfway to St. Louis when Pansy told Lalah that she had a surprise for her. It seems that on Oct. 23, 1904, Chandos and Pansy had said their vows in front of the justice of the peace, T.B. Pratt, and his daughter, Nellie, Pansy’s best friend, had stood in as a witness along with Fred Baker. After Pansy had told her sister about the secret marriage that had taken place, Chandos joined them on the train, and the happy couple made the trip to St. Louis together.

When Lalah returned to Webb City, she made the announcement of the marriage of Pansy and Chandos as the newlyweds were on their way to Tampa, Fla. to visit Chandos’ family and to take up residence there.

There was celebration in the town as many of Chandos’ and Pansy’s friends were delighted to know that love had triumphed after all. Pansy’s best friend, Nellie Pratt, and Judge Pratt were a big help in this love story.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.