He attended the common schools and learned the printing trade. He returned to classical study and graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York in 1840. He engaged in teaching, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1842 and commenced practice in Warren, Pennsylvania.
He served as district attorney from 1846-48. An anti-slavery Democrat, he changed his affiliation to the Republican Party in 1856. He served in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1857-59.
He was appointed president judge of the eighteenth judicial district of Pennsylvania in 1861. Scofield was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-eighth and to the five succeeding Congresses. He served as chairman of the United States House Committee on Revisal and Unfinished Business during the Thirty-ninth Congress and the United States House Committee on Naval Affairs during the Forty-first, Forty-second, and Forty-third Congresses.
He was not a candidate for renomination in 1874. He resumed practising law in Warren. He was appointed Register of the Treasury by President Rutherford B. Hayes and served from 1878-81.
President James A. Garfield appointed him associate justice of the United States Court of Claims, and he served from 1881-91. He died in Warren in 1891, and was interred in Oakland Cemetery in Pleasant Township, Pennsylvania, near Warren.
He was a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from 1849-51.