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The Future According to Toes


The future can be a frightening prospect for many. Some might seek a palm reader to tell them what lies in the future, while others gaze in a crystal ball. For “Fish” Peterson of Hartland, however, that wasn’t necessary. He could see it all in his toes.

Because his big toes are shorter than all the others, reported the Ward County Independent today in 1926, Fish believed he was destined to be ruled by a woman. Fish must have decided to make the best of his short time of freedom from women. He visited various county offices in Minot and serenaded Sheriff Spicher, Judge Murray, and other city officials with fiddle music. The colorful character was declared insane by the Ward County board, though the Independent assured that he was not “violently insane.”

Regardless, this seems a harsh declaration today, considering many men see the same fate. The prospect is generally seen in a wedding ring, however, rather than toes.

By Tessa Sandstrom


“ ‘Fish’ Peterson declared insane,” Ward County Independent. October 14, 1926: 3.