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The Origin of Elmhurst, NY

The personal injury attorneys in Elmhurst, NY at Banville Law would like to offer the following view of the area's history.


The town of Elmhurst consists of 750.28 acres and is located within the Queens borough of New York City. It is less than a 30-minute drive to New York City when crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge.


In 1652 the town, originally Middleburgh was established. It has undergone many name changes before becoming Elmhurst in the 1890s, such as New Town and then Newtown. The Dutch were the first settlers to occupy the area, aside from the Native Americans. The British took control of the area on July 9, 1666.

The population had increased to 1,000 by 1700, consisting of 434 adults, 405 under 16, and 161 slaves. Gershom Moore owned a farm on what is now Broadway and 45th Avenue. He produced the famous Newtown Pippin apple. 

Renaming of the Town

In 1896 Cord Meyer purchased the land at Whitney Avenue and Broadway. He named the town Elmhurst, translated to "a grove of elms," in 1897. Meyer wished to separate the village from the Newton Creek that had become polluted and foul odored. 

By 1910 the neighborhood had expanded with newer residential development replacing the old construction, and Meyer added to the area by purchasing more land. The Grand Street LIRR Station was constructed and located near the current Grand Avenue-Newtown subway station. 

20th Century

The neighborhood consisted primarily of Italian and Jewish families before World War II. After the war, more immigrants moved in, creating a more diverse community. The population of Chinese and Latinos increased the most by the 1980s.

Historical Landmarks

Elmhurst is home to many buildings registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of these included are:

  • Queensboro Elks Lodge - the oldest of Elk lodges built in 1923
  • First Presbyterian Chruch of Newtown - built in 1895
  • Newtown High School - built in 1921
  • St. James Church - built in 1735
  • Reformed Church of Newtown - one of the oldest wooden churches in New York - built in 1731


In 2010 Elmhurst's population was 88,427. The average household income was $51,992. Fewer residents have a high school education and college degree than other neighborhoods in New York. The racial makeup of the town is the following:

  • 6.6% white
  • 43.8% Asian
  • 46.1% Hispanic or Latino
  • 1.3% African American
  • 0.2% Native American
  • <0.1% Pacific Islander
  • 0.4% other races
  • 1.6% two or more races

The neighborhood has more residents that were born outside of the country than most other neighborhoods in America. More than 19% speak Tagalog, a Philippine language, as their first language. Spanish is the first language of 26.9%, but others speak Chinese and English. The ancestral breakdown of the Hispanic and Latino residents in Elmhurst is the following:

  • 20.4% South American (9.8% Ecuadorean, 7.2% Columbian, 1.8% Peruvian, 0.4% Argentinean, 0.4% Bolivian, 0.2% Chilean, 0.2% Venezuelan)
  • 11.6% Mexican
  • 3.1% Dominican
  • 1.8% Puerto Rican
  • 1.5% Central American (0.5% Salvadoran, 0.4% Guatemalan, 0.3% Hondoran)
  • 0.7% Cuban 

Find More: A View Back in Time in Kew Gardens Hills, NY

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Our Elmhurst, NY, personal injury attorneys at Banville Law are here for all your legal needs. Reach out today for your free consultation.

Banville Law
104-68 Roosevelt Ave.
Queens, NY 11368
(347) 991-9542

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: April 1, 2021
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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