Lost Huntington: Jack Dial

An undated photo of the second location of Jack Dial Sporting Goods at 1560 4th Ave., across from Wiggins restaurant.

Editor’s Note: This is the 324th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON – Born in Huntington in 1927, Jack Winston Dial was a graduate of the old Huntington High School, where he was a member of the 1944 state championship basketball team. He attended West Virginia University on a basketball scholarship until he entered the U.S. Army.

Following his military service, he was employed by the U.S. Veterans Administration and the U.S. Post Office before opening Jack Dial Sporting Goods, which he owned and operated for 20 years. When his store’s original downtown location burned, he moved to 1560 4th Ave. (across from Wiggins restaurant) circa 1963.

At his first two locations in the 1960s, he rented the buildings. Circa 1973 he bought a piece of property and built his own building at 1518 4th Ave.

He hadn’t considered selling, but within a matter of days he received two offers – one for the building and one for the inventory. He accepted both offers and moved to Charlotte, N.C., in 2001.

Jack Dial was well-known in athletic circles around the state and was a popular sports official for many years. He was named in 1963 as a “Sports Great” by the Lions Club and the West Virginia Centennial Commission, recognized by the state Secondary Schools Activities in 1970 for his contribution to West Virginia’s athletic programs, and in 1990 was elected to the charter class of Huntington High’s Hall of Fame.

He died in Charlotte in 2007.

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