Biography of Louis A. Schoffel
Bronx County, NY Biographies





LOUIS ASTOR SCHOFFEL - In the interests of the legal and civic enterprises of New York City, Mr. Schoffel has devoted his career with marked diligence and application to the promotion of the welfare of his community in his chosen fields of activity. Wide awake, enterprising and energetic, he has filled the various capacities of civic significance to which he has been elected with a capable and loyal standard of service, and as registrar of Bronx County, he has introduced reforms and reorganizations in his department which have increased the efficiency and scope of the work Mr. Schoffel is still one of the younger generation of his profession and in politics, but it is doubtful if any other young man in New York City has enjoyed such a rapid rise against such formidable opposition as he has met in the political field. He is the son of Moses and Kate (Astor) Schoffel both of whom were born in Austria, and came to this country when the former was twenty eight years old, at which time they settled on the lower east side of New York City, where the father engaged for many years in the real estate business.

Louis Astor Schoffel was born July 27, 1894, on Orchard Street, New York City. He attended the local public schools of the city, going at first to the old school at the corner of Houston and Bieecker streets, from which he later transferred to Public School No. 122, at Ninth Street and First Avenue, and finally to Public School No. 64 on Tenth Street between Avenues B and C. He then entered the De Witt Clinton High School from which he was duly graduated in 1912. During his undergraduate days, Mr. Schoffel took an active part in the dramatic and public speaking societies of the school. From high school, he went to the College of the City of New York for a short period, at the end of which time he went to the Long Island Medical College where he likewise remained but a short time. He decided then to study law, and matriculated at the New York Law School in the fall of 1913. He completed his courses and received his degree of Bachelor of Laws with the class of 1916. At that time, Mr. Schoffel entered the law offices of A. A. Silberberg at No. 256 Broadway, New York City, where he served for a year as clerk until he was admitted to the bar of the State in 1917 by the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. Having qualified to practice, Mr. Schoffel became associated with Leon Kronfeld with offices at No. 135 Broadway, and after a year joined the legal firm of Dechsler, Orenstein and Leff at No. 225 Fifth Avenue, with which he remained for two years. In April, 1920, Mr. Schoffel established his own offices at No. 20 West Twentieth Street and a short time later removed to No. 291 Broadway. Within recently he established his law offices at No. 578 East One Hundred and Sixty first Street, in The Bronx.

He entered his political career in September, 1921, by engaging as a Democrat, and also receiving the Republican indorsement in the race for the State Assembly in the old Thirty fourth District now the Fourth Assembly District, which at that time was a hot bed for socialism. He carried on a whirlwind and stirring campaign, and was sent to the Assembly by the voters of his district by a substantial plurality over his socialist opponent, and at the same time reclaimed this district for the Democrats. He was reelected in the succeeding years of 1922, 1923 and 1924. In 1925, Mr. Schoffel was given the nomination by the regular Democratic party for the office of registrar of Bronx County, and won the right to stand for election over his Hylan opponent in the primaries. On November 4, 1925, he was voted into office by an overwhelming plurality over his Republican rival, and he was inducted into office on January 1, 1926. As soon as he was placed in authority, Mr. Schoffel inaugurated an entirely new system in his office. These reforms and improvements have served to facilitate and expedite the recording and return of instruments within ten days and consequently have speeded and improved the machinery of title searching and filing materially. He has increased the number of folio writers, installed a new index and recording system of lot number, and has installed a steel vault for the safe keeping of all instruments which simple but effective innovation has revolutionized the system heretofore in use. As a result of his able performance of his duties, his conscientious devotion to the principles to which he is dedicated and his marked integrity and probity, Mr. Schoffel has won the admiration and good will of his host of friends, supporters and associates who recognize in him a public spirited citizen and a capable representative upon whose shoulders the responsibilities of administration fall naturally.

Mr. Schoffel is a member of The Bronx County Bar Association; Stanley Lodge, No. 1051, Free and Accepted Masons; Stanley Council, No. 1232, Royal Arcanum, and Lodge No. 871, of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is likewise enrolled as a member of the Louis Fleischmann Benevolent Society and the First Kozower Benevolent Society. Active in commercial affairs of the community, he is affiliated with The Bronx Board of Trade and he is also a vice president of the Jackson Democratic Club. With his family he attends the Temple Adath Israel of The Bronx, and is counsel of the First Ladies' Day Nursery of The Bronx.

Mr. Schoffel married, January 15, 1921, Lena Zahn, a daughter of Louis and Bertha (Kalmus) Zahn, both of whom were natives of Austria. They are the parents of two daughters: 1. Gloria Rita, born March 4, 1924. 2. Marjorie Jean, born January 21, 1927.

From:
The Bronx and its people
A History 1609-1927
Board of Editors: James L. Wells,
Louis F. Haffen
Josiah A. Briggs.
Historian: Benedict Fitspatrick
Publisher: The Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc.
New York 1927


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