Cecil J. Siddall was associate justice of the Maine Supreme Court. He graduated from Sanford High School in 1911, and served in the U.S. military during WWI.
Following his service in WWI, he graduated from the University of Maine College of Law, and was admitted to the Maine Bar in 1916. Mr. Siddall was a longtime member of the Sanford law firm of Titcomb, Fenderson and Siddall.
In 1953 he was named a justice of the Maine Superior Court by Governor Burton M. Cross.
In May of 1958 he was named associate justice of the Maine Supreme Court by Governor Edmund S. Muskie.
Following his retirement in 1965, he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Nasson College.
In addition to his distinguished law career, Mr. Siddall was a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. He was a former Sanford selectman and former register of the York Probate Court. Mr. Siddall also served in the Maine Legislature. He was a former member of the state's Military Commission and was a former personal staff member of Govs. Sewall and Horace Hildreth. A past commander of Thomas W. Cole Post, American Legion, he was a former state Legion commander.
Mr. Siddall was married to Miriam Nealley Siddall, and had two daughters, Patricia Davidson and Shirley Morris.
SANFORD - Upon his retirement from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 1965, Cecil J. Siddall, was honored by the Sanford Lions Club for his "immeasurable contribution to the courts of Maine."
York County Superior Court Justice Charles A. Pomeroy said of Siddall, "He has brought to the court a dignity and sense of integrity that have permeated the court and reached out to the public."
It is for his accomplishments in the legal field that Cecil J. Siddall has been selected as an inaugural member of the Sanford High School Hall of Fame.
Born in Sanford in 1894, Siddall graduated from Sanford High in 1911. He went on to the University of Maine College of Law, where during his junior year he was admitted to the Maine Bar. Siddall was reportedly the youngest person ever admitted to the bar at that time.
After graduating from University of Maine in 1917, Siddall served in the Army during World War I. After the war, Siddall returned to Sanford, where he married, the former Miriam Nealley. They had two daughters, Patricia and Shirley.
Upon returning to Sanford, Siddall began his legal career. He was one of the founding members of the firm of Waterhouse, Titcomb, and Siddall, which later became Titcomb and Siddall.
In addition to his legal work, Siddall served on the Sanford Board of Selectmen from 1919-1922. He was Sanford's representative to the state legislature from 1923-1925. He also served a term as the York County Register of Probate.
Siddall was a member of the committee that in 1935 drew up the representative town meeting government adopted by Sanford, the system which Sanford still uses today.
During World War II, Siddall was named to the state Military Defense Commission by Gov. Sumner Sewall. In 1946, he was appointed the reporter of decisions for the Maine Supreme Court by Gov. Horace Hildreth.
During his free time, Siddall enjoyed spending time fishing at the family cottage on Sand Pond. Both of Siddall's daughters fondly remember summers spent at the cottage. "We had some wonderful summers there growing up. My father loved it there," says Siddall's daughter Shirley Morris.
By the early 1950's however, Siddall had a change in career which would change his focus from serving Sanford to serving the entire state.
In 1953, Governor Burton M. Cross appointed Siddall to the Maine Superior Court. Siddall was the first attorney from Sanford to be named as a Superior Court Justice.
"He liked being on the Superior Court, where there was a lot of action. He loved trial work," says Patricia Davidson, Siddall's other daughter.
Siddall served as a Superior Court Justice for five years, until 1958, when he was named as an Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Court by Gov. Edmund S. Muskie.
Siddall was the first man from Sanford and only the fifth man from York County to serve as a Justice to the state Supreme Court.
Siddall was noted for his decisions, which were written in plain language that could be understood by the general public, not just those schooled in legal language. "As the years go by, many of the decisions he has written will be considered gems of common sense, expositions of what the law is and what it ought to be, in language that can be understood by all," said Pomeroy upon Siddall's retirement. "One feels that these opinions have been written by a man of complete intellectual honesty, a characteristic that all judges should try to attain."
When he retired in 1965, there were many tributes honoring Siddall's long career on the bench.
"I consider it a cherished honor that I was sworn in by Justice Siddall after I was admitted to the bar," said York County Attorney Lloyd LaFountain. "It has been a pleasure to serve under him, to consult him and have his guidance."
Norman Hall, chair of the Sanford Board of Selectmen said, "His coming retirement will be a loss to the state, but his fellow townsmen will be glad to have him back."
Pomeroy spoke for his fellow justices, "Those of us on the court, to a man, consider that the court enjoys the public confidence it does today largely because of the integrity brought to it by Mr. Justice Siddall."
Siddall was also honored by Nasson College, which bestowed an honorary doctor of laws degree upon him in 1965.
Siddall passed away in 1986, at the age of 92. While he will be remembered by most people for his accomplishments as a lawyer and judge, Siddall will also be remembered as a caring man who would go out of his way for others.
Davidson remembers her father as "having a very lively sense of humor. A fine husband and father."
As his daughter Shirley says, "He was a wonderful dad, very unpretentious and good-hearted. He was always willing to help people, that's how I remember him."
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