What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us



George Washington Ream
(1912-1986) and
Thelma Mae Welsh (1914-1997)


George Ream

George Washington Ream was born on Feb. 22, 1912 in Lower Turkeyfoot Twp., Confluence, PA. He was the 11th of 16 children born to Joseph and Sarah Ellen (Harbaugh) Ream.

George was united in the bonds of matrimony with a distant cousin, Thelma Mae Welsh (1914-1997), daughter of James Franklin and Irene (Miner) Welsh of nearby Mill Run, Fayette County.

The Reams together produced a family of four children -- Joyce Kathryn Basinger Darrell, Iris "Pauline" Leslie, George Henry "Bud" Ream and Constance Lou Klink Hillegass.

George and Thelma in the early years dwelled on a farm between Draketown and Jersey Hollow Road outside of Confluence, PA.

In August 1936, the couple attended the annual Harbaugh Reunion at the Odd Fellows Picnic Grove in Kingwood, Somerset County. In a group photograph taken that day, George stands beside his parents, with his arm around his father.


A Draketown gristmill, possibly built by Georges' grandfather Thomas Ream Jr., said to have been the "last enterprise left in town" as of the 1920s.



George with his parents, 1936

George was a longtime coal miner and belonged to United Mine Workers of America Local 5287.

In 1940, as shown in the federal census enumeration, the Reams lived in Jenner, Somerset County, where he labored mining coal for the Acosta Company. Among others, he is known to have worked at the QueCreek Mine in Somerset County, PA in 1954 and to have paid union dues of $1 per month. 

The Reams separated and are believed to have divorced.


Obituary, 1997

George remained in the outskirts of Confluence. In October 1964, he advertised in the Connellsville Daily Courier that he was selling his property, and wanting someone to "take down and remove" the house and 40 ft. x 60 ft. barn.

He died in his home on April 22, 1986, at the age of 74. Following a funeral service led by Rev. David Brothers, burial was in the sacred soil of Imel Cemetery in Clay Run. The Somerset Daily American published an obituary, which said he was survived by 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Thelma supported herself by working at Scottdale Wood Products and at the Connellsville State General Hospital. Her final years were spent in McClellandtown and Masontown, near Uniontown.

She surrendered to the spirit of death on May 8, 1997, at the age of 83. Interment of the remains was in Sylvan Heights Cemetery with Rev. Brothers again overseeing the service and preaching the funeral sermon. An obituary was published in the Daily American.


Bird's eye view of industrial Scottdale, PA


~ Daughter Joyce Kathryn (Ream) Basinger Darrell ~

Daughter Joyce Kathryn Ream (1939-2008) was born on March 23, 1939 in Confluence. 

Her first husband was Ronald Basinger Sr. ( ? - ? ).

Their six children are believed to have been Sherry Hixson, Pamela Basinger, Ronald Basinger Jr., Lori Fabian, Rodney Basinger and Clara Dauria.

The couple divorced, with Ronald making his home in Connellsville.

Later, Joyce was united in marriage with Gerald H. Darrell Sr. (1940-2010), son of John and Lucartha (Bell) Darrell. Gerald belonged to the Amend Gun Club, Messmore Rod and Gun Club and Footedale Fire Hall.

They made their home in McClellandtown, Fayette County. Joyce earned a living working at Highlands Hospital in Connellsville. She was a member of the First Christian Church of New Salem.

Joyce passed away at the age of 68 on Jan. 7, 2009. Interment was in Sylvan Heights Cemetery in Uniontown.

Gerald joined his wife in death on May 27, 2010, at home. An obituary was printed in the Connellsville Daily Courier.

Daughter Sherry Basinger married Gary Hixson. They dwelled in Acme, Westmoreland County, PA. Their three children are Jamie Liska, Mike Hixson and Nancy Hixson.

  • Granddaughter Jamie Hixson wedded Michael Liska. They had at least two children.
  • Grandson Mike Hixson
  • Granddaughter Nancy Hixson

Daughter Pamela Basinger ( ? - ? ) was twice wed. Her first spouse was Edward Nicola ( ? - ? ). They produced four children -- Susan Nicola, Edward Nicola, Bridget Nicola and Brian Nicola. Grief swept over the family when their youngest son, Brian, died in infancy. Later, Pamela was joined in wedlock with Roger Nativio. The couple has lived in Uniontown.

  • Granddaughter Susan Nicola
  • Grandson Edward Nicola
  • Granddaughter Bridget Nicola
  • Grandson Brian Nicola

Son Ronald Basinger Jr. ( ? - ? ) married Heather and resided in California State.

Daughter Lori Basinger was united in wedlock with Edward Fabian. Their home has been in White, Fayette County. Children born to this union were Jessie Fabian and Waylon Fabian.

  • Granddaughter Jessie Fabian
  • Grandson Waylon Fabian

Son Rodney Basinger married Heather Little. they bore one known son, Trevor Basinger. The family has made their home in McClellandtown.

Daughter Clara Basinger was wedded to Joseph Dauria.


~ Daughter Iris Pauline (Ream) Leslie ~

Daughter Iris "Pauline" Ream ( ? - living) was born in (?).

She was joined in the bonds of holy wedlock with a distant double cousin, Alvin Leslie ( ? -living), son of James Earl "Kes" and Barbara (Miller) Leslie of the family of Amanda (Younkin) Hechler.

The couple's three children are Alvin E. "Buck" Leslie Jr., Lisa Yoder and Marsha Herrod.


The Leslies' homemade honey

Their home-cultivated A.E. Leslie Apiary Honey is sold locally throughout Somerset and Fayette Counties. The Leslies graciously have donated jars of their honey as door prizes at our reunions in the 1990s and early 2000s. Pauline also has contributed significant content for this biography.

Son Alvin E. "Buck" Leslie Jr. was united in holy matrimony with Carol King. They are the parents of Kathleen Louise Leslie and perhaps others.

Daughter Lisa Leslie was joined in wedlock with Ronald Yoder. They bore a daughter, Renee Yoder.

Daughter Marsha Leslie married Daniel Herrod. They are divorced.


~ Son George Henry "Bud" Ream ~

Son George Henry "Bud" Ream ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). 

He married Gloria Leslie ( ? - ? ).

The Reams produced three children -- Frederick Ream, Randy Ream and Laura Ream.

In 2008, their residence was in Moscow, Lackawanna County, PA.

Son Frederick Ream wedded Debbie Tuckle.

Son Randy Ream is the father of two sons -- Alec Michael Ream and Randy Alan Ream.

Daughter Laura Ream was joined in matrimonial union with Robert Wasylyk. They are the parents of Robert John Wasylyk.


~ Daughter Constance Lou "Connie" (Ream) Klink Hillegas ~

Daughter Constance Lou Ream (1947- ? ) was born on Jan. 12, 1947.

As a young woman, she lived at 339 Oder Street in Confluence.

She was twice married. In late December 1963, she eloped to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD to wed her first spouse, Benjamin Franklin Klink Sr. (Dec. 29, 1941-1982), son of Barnard and Iva (Pritts) Klink of Middlecreek Township, Somerset County. News of their marriage license was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier and Cumberland News. At the time, he resided at 213 Yough Street, also in Confluence.

The couple dwelled in rural Normalville, and their two sons were Benjamin Franklin Klink Jr. and Dennis J. Klink.

Sadness swept over the family when Benjamin was admitted to Lee Hospital in nearby Johnstown, Cambria County. There, he died at the age of 40 on Aug. 17, 1982. His remains were interred in the Tinkey Cemetery in Indian Head, Fayette County, with Rev. Dan Smith presiding over the funeral service. His obituary appeared in the Somerset Daily American.

In 1986, Constance's home was in Normalville, Fayette County.

She married her second husband, Alan "Hilly" Hillegass ( ? - ? ).

Son Benjamin Franklin Klink Jr. married Valerie (Rocco) Siever. She brought a son to the marriage, Ryan Siever. The couple went on to have a son of their own, Benjamin Thomas Klink.

Son Dennis J. Klink ( ? - ? ).


Copyright 2001-2003, 2016, 2020-2021 Doris (Sands) Hawker and Mark A. Miner