A MINOR is a person under twenty-one years of age, or, in some States, a maiden under eighteen years old. In England, and in many of the United States, sex makes no difference.

The legal term for a minor is "infant." The legal consequences of infancy are: First, inability to commit crime until of a certain age; secondly, inability to consent until a certain age; third, inability to make a contract of any kind except marriage; and, fourth, inability to sue or be sued, except by guardians.

Infants may own and hold all kinds of property.

Infants should have guardians of their persons and property.

The parents are the guardians of the person. Courts of probate appoint suitable persons for guardians of their property. At fourteen the infant may select his or her guardian of his or her property.

Infants whose parents are unfit to be guardians, or who suffer them to become a public charge, may have guardians of their persons appointed by some public officer.

The parties so chosen are called guardians, and the infants wards.

Thus the guardians of the person must supply the ward with necessaries and instruction, and the guardian of the property must preserve it, and cannot expend it or change it from real to personal property without the order of the court.

The laws relating to the rights and duties of guardians vary in different States, but in essential particulars resemble each other.

Petition to Have a Guardian Appointed, Made by a Friend.

To the Surrogate of the County of - , State of - :


To the County Court of the County of - , State of - :

The petition of William J. Erskine, of the city of Milwaukee, Wis., respectfully shows that Moses Erskine is a resident of the county of Milwaukee, and is a minor over fourteen years of age, and was fifteen years of age on the twelfth day of September last past. That he is entitled to certain property and estate, to wit, two building-lots at the northwest corner of Sholto and Schiller streets, in said city, and that to protect and preserve the legal rights of said infant it is necessary that some proper person should be duly appointed the guardian of his estate during his minority. Wherefore, your petitioner nominates, subject to the approbation of the (surrogate or county court of the county of - ), George V. Norcott, of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, merchant, to be such guardian, and prays his appointment accordingly, pursuant to the statute in such case made and provided.

WILLIAM J. ERSKINE. Milwaukee, Wis., November 1, 1882.

To the bottom of this petition the merchant may add

I, George V: Norcott, of the city of Milwaukee, Wis., merchant, hereby consent to be appointed the guardian of the person and estate of the above-named minor during his minority.


Milwaukee, Wis., November 1, 1882.

Form Of Bond Of Guardian

Know All Men by These Presents, That we, George V. Norcott, of the city of Milwaukee, Wis., merchant, and Samuel Finch, provision packer, of the same city, are held and firmly bound unto (either the State, or the probate or county judge, as the law declares), in the sum of Four Thousand Dollars, lawful money of the United States, to be paid to the said (State or judge), his executors, administrators, or assigns; to which payment, well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, and heirs (and each of them), and our executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents.

Sealed with our seals. Dated the fourth day of November, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two.

The condition of this obligation is such, that if the above bounden George V. Norcott shall and will faithfully, in all things, discharge the duty of a guardian to the said minor, according to law, and render a true and just account of all the property and moneys received by him, and of the application thereof, and of his guardianship in all respects, to any court having cognizance thereof, when thereunto required, then this obligation to be void; otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

Signed, sealed and deliv-in presence of J. T. Brown, W. M. Smith.


The obligee of the bond is sometimes the State, and sometimes the judge.