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Nathaniel Dial Children: 1922

The children of U.S. Senator Nathaniel Dial, May 27. 1922. From the National Photo Company collection. View full size.

The children of U.S. Senator Nathaniel Dial, May 27. 1922. From the National Photo Company collection. View full size.


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Following up Nathaniel Minter's story

I have just come across this thread. Thanks for your comments @Noelani.... Not meaning just to promote myself, I wanted to let you know that I have completed a book and documentary film that will be coming out this autumn on Minter's story. (I'm Minter's grandson, carrying his name). In case you are interested to find out more, please come by It's been a lifelong journey for me too.

An amazing story about a boy in a Shorpy photograph

I know this is many years later than comments are usually posted about a photograph, but there is a story, here, which I believe needs to be told, and will be of interest to many of my fellow Shorpy-ites.

I would like to add to the information Joe Manning provided for Nathaniel Minter Dial, who is the oldest boy in this photo. Known widely as "Minter", he was appointed to the US Naval Academy in 1928. While there, his classmates came up with the "imaginative" nickname of "Sun". He made many friends, lettered in Lacrosse for multiple years, and met his true love, Lisa, in the Fall of his "plebe" year. He graduated in 1932, and was commissioned as an Ensign. He married Lisa, and they started a family.

Tragically, Minter Dial was one of those most unfortunate Americans who found themselves in the Philippines at the beginning of the war and were ordered to surrender to the Japanese. Like most others who shared that fate, Minter Dial didn't survive the war.

The Smithsonian magazine, online, has a very touching story of something that was no less than a miracle. It's about how RADM George Pressey, who had been Minter Dial's best friend and teammate at USNA, found his friend's class ring, at Inchon, Korea. It had been found during the excavation of a site that had previously been a POW camp. It's a story that I will never forget! Read the story here.

They are all gone now.

I'm one of the older girl's grandchildren. Two of her sons are still alive, but that generation has passed.

Nathaniel Dial Children

This is Joe Manning. I did some quick research, and identified the older girl as Fannie Dial, born Sept 3, 1907. She married Matthew White Perry. In 1930, they were living at 1026 16th St, Washington, DC. They had four children. One of them, William Perry, died in 2007, in Beaufort, South Carolina. Matthew died in Washington in 1973. I was unable to find Fannie's date of death. You can see a 1924 photo of her here.

The other girl was Dorothy Dial, born May 27, 1909. She married Harold Ogden Smith. They had four children. He died in Maryland, January 15, 1989. Dorothy died June 18, 2003, at the age of 94.

The older boy was Nathaniel Dial, born March 21, 1911. In December 1944, he was killed while on a Japanese prison ship. He was awarded the Navy Cross, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The other boy was Joseph Dial, born about 1914. He served in World War II. He died in 1967, and is also buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Finally, you can see another photo of the same children, several more of Fannie (or Fanny), and several of older sisters Rebecca and Emily, on the Library of Congress website. Go to
Then enter "Dial" in the search box, click search, and then Preview Images. If you browse through the 98 photos, you will eventually find all of them. They are very interesting, and reflect what was most assuredly a privileged family.

According To Wikipedia . . .

Which is not always the best source . . .

In 1846, the four-year-old Prince of Wales was given a scaled-down version of the uniform worn by ratings on the Royal Yacht. He wore his miniature sailor suit during a cruise off the Channel Islands that September, delighting his mother and the public alike. Popular engravings, including the famous portrait done by Franz Winterhalter, spread the idea, and by the 1870s, the sailor suit had become normal dress for both boys and girls in many parts of the world.

(From the entry for Edward VII)


I cannot help but to wonder, as I look at all of these photos, if the people I am looking at are still alive. (and yes, obviously many of them are not....)

They all look so aged. It's

They all look so aged. It's hard not to stare at them.


I glimsped at the photo at first, but then I had to look back, and stare.

Sailor Suit

The little one was ahead of his time. It would be another 12 years before Donald Duck would make an outfit like that his trademark.

It's the children..

Their faces look so fetchingly wise.


Aren't you glad you use Dial?
Don't you wish everybody did?

This is intriguing for some

This is intriguing for some reason.

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