SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Through a concrete gateway at the intersection of Meadowmere Street and Fremont Avenue sits a neighborhood called Bellamy Place. 

The house at 1340 E. Meadowmere St. was built just six years after the neighborhood was developed, according to local realtor and historian Richard Crabtree. Thanks to Orval Clinton Cavin, the property’s current look is much different now than when it was first constructed. 

Orval C. Cavin moved his family into 1340 E. Meadowmere in 1918, just a few years before opening his women’s clothing store. Courtesy of Richard Crabtree.

Orval C. Cavin was born in Pleasant Hope, Missouri, a town about 20 miles north of Springfield, in 1883. Available records show that he was one of 11 children born to Orville Stewart Cavin and his wife, Margaret Jane Burns.  

Orville Stewart was born in Tennessee in 1849 and Margaret was a Missouri native, born in 1848. The couple farmed land in Polk County, Missouri in the late 1800s.  

Margaret passed away in 1892, and Orville Stewart remarried. He wed Teressa Arta Fullerton Dorsey (who went by the name “Artie”) in 1896, and they would remain married until Orville Stewart’s death in 1934 at the age of 85. Artie was 94 when she died in 1950. 

Orval Clinton Cavin married his wife Ida in 1913 and moved into 1340 E. Meadowmere St. around 1918 with their sons Richard Kenneth Cavin and Orval Harlan Cavin.  

According to Crabtree, Orval Clinton was working at Turner’s Department Store as the manager of the women’s clothing department. By around 1925, he decided to go into business for himself, opening the Cavin Ready-to-Wear shop on East McDaniel Street.  

A few years later, Cavin hired contractor J.H. Mayfield to remodel the house on Meadowmere. Renovations took about six months to complete and even today, the house retains the rounded shapes and stucco that were typical of the southwestern, adobe style that was popular in the 1930s.  

The Cavins remained in the home until 1936, when they moved to a property on Walnut Street. Others would occupy the home over the next several decades, until 2019 when Beth Pelkey Freeman moved in.  

Driving through the neighborhood on a quiet Sunday evening, some residents are gathered on their front porches as the July sun fades. Others are out watering their flower gardens or with their pets.  

The top photo depicts 1340 E. Meadowmere just after renovations were completed in 1931. Courtesy of Richard Crabtree

The tranquility there is what drew Beth Pelkey Freeman to the property. 

Easily the brightest and most colorful exterior on the block, Freeman’s home became the backdrop for her work helping others heal from trauma. 

“It’s a calming space. It’s a welcoming space,” Freeman said. “It’s as if the house itself welcomes and allows for anyone who comes in to feel at home and to feel safe.”  

Freeman believes the house has taken on pieces of its past owners’ lives, something she says can’t be recreated in brand new spaces. 

“You can try to build it like it used to be built,” Freeman said. “But you can’t imitate, you know, decades of history. And the people that lived here and that’s where the magic is.” 

Currently on the market, Freeman said she feels fortunate to have spent time there and hopes the new owners think so, too.  

“This house will welcome and is already ready to welcome its new owners,” Freeman said. “Just like it welcomed me.”