MITCHEL SMOLEROFF - "America, the Land of Opportunity" - such is the proud boast of each true patriot;
but to those who have not been born under the shadow of the Stars and Stripes there is given an even larger opportunity
of proving that assertion. Such is the history of Mitchel Smoleroff, one time citizen of Russia, and now an exemplification
of the actual operation of that principle; a man whose business career typifies and symbolizes the conquest of
environment and adverse circumstances by a spirit deterinined on success. The phenomenal growth of New York City
in the past two decades has carried to fortune many of those who had early perceived the enormous expansion and
subsequent increase in real estate values, of which the rapidly growing city at that time gave indications. Mr.
Smoleroff, with true business sagacity, early invested and interested himself in this highly profitable field of
Mitchel Smoleroff was born in Elizabethgrad, Russia, on November 27, 1876, a son of Jacob and Miriam (Krasnopolsky)
Smoleroff. He attended the local schools of his native city, and in 1893, at the age of seventeen years, came to
the United States, first settling in New Haven, Connecticut. Here he entered the employ of Sargent & Company,
hardware manufacturers, of New Haven, where he remained for six years. He then came to New York City, and established
the Grand Ice Cream Company, at No 299 Cherry Street, which was one of the pioneer concerns engaged in quantity
production of ice cream in the city. The success which attended this enterprise from this small beginning under
the able management of its founder, Mr. Smoleroff, was so marked that in the space of a very few years he enlarged
the scope of his activities by establishing a similar plant in Newark, New Jersey. This was about twenty years
ago, and the first title under which the company functioned was the Metropolitan Ice Cream Company, which in later
years was changed to the Sterling Ice Cream Company. This company has become one of the largest concerns of its
kind in the State of New Jersey and one of the best equipped, comprising the very latest inachinery and a modern
plant doing a seasonable business of over a half million dollars. Mr. Smoleroff is still actively engaged as president
of this concern, and it is largely due to his personal guidance that the business has prospered so greatly in a
community where the keenest competition exists. When Mr. Smoleroff decided to enlarge his business he sold the
Grand Ice Cream Company at No. 299 Cherry Street, New York City, to his faithful employees, who have continued
the business to the present day.
The second phase of Mr. Smoleroff's unusually successful career was instituted in the year 1910, when he foresaw
the great opportunities for investment in Bronx real estate, and bought his first piece of property from Peter
Sinnott, the well known builder and steam engineer. From this beginning he has gone successfully forward ever since,
continuing to buy additional properties from Peter Sinnott and others, and increasing his holdings until he has
become one of the leading taxpayers in The Bronx. About the year 1920, Mr. Srnoleroff decided to enter the building
and construction field as an adjunct to his real estate business, and upon this decision he erected one of the
largest and finest apartment buildings in The Bronx. This building, on the southeast corner of One Hundred and
Sixty fifth Street and Boston Post Road, occupies the ground which was formerly the site of the Young Men's Hebrew
Association. Mr. Smoleroff now owns and operates twenty five large apartment houses, in which more than one thousand
families are housed, and during the operation of the Rent Einergency Laws he never had a dispute over rents with
a single tenant. In the Westchester Village section of The Bronx, Mr. Smoleroff has purchased several pieces of
property, on which he is erecting some of the finest and largest apartment buildings. He is known among his real
estate friends as a pioneer real estate investor and builder, and one of the largest builders and operators in
The Bronx. Mr. Srnoleroff is a self made inan in the fullest sense of the term, and he takes great pride and pleasure
in aiding, financially, all worthy charitable institutions in a generous and substantial way. He is a director
of the Real Estate Club, and of an organization devoted to the support of Jewish charities. He employs steadily
more than fifty men in various capacities on his many different properties the year round.
Fraternally, Mr. Smoleroff has correspondingly been active. in the ancient Masonic body. He is a member of Courland
Lodge, No. 885, Free and Accepted Masons, as well as the Mystic Shrine, Scottish Rite and Consistory bodies.
Mitchel Smoleroff was married in Brooklyn, New York, on September 5, 1909, to Mollie Rose, a daughter of Joseph
H. and Anna (Lee) Rose, who formerly resided at Fifty ninth Street and Seventeenth Avenue, Brooklyn. Mr. and Mrs.
Smoleroff are the parents of two children: Miriam, born October 14, 1915; and Shirley. born August 25, 1918. The
family residence is at No. 180 Riverside Drive, New York City.
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
Bronx County, NY
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium