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Welcome to Richmond Hill
Noteworthy People of Richmond Hill, NY
Andrew (Andreas) Jensen Riis (1869-1936)
Research by Helen Day
Born 28 Feb 1869 in Nykker, Bornholm, Denmark
Arrived in NY 1892 becoming a citizen in 1895 according to census records.
He was married twice and had two sons by his first wife.
Married first wife Mary (Marie) about 1893-1894 and they are listed on the 1900
census with son Edward born about 1895
1910 census, Andrew is married to Stella for three years and he has two sons,
Edward, 15, and Arthur, 8.
They lived on Walnut St. later 85-33 117 St. A newspaper article gave their
address as 85-26 117 St.. Mrs. (Stella) Riis was very active socially and belonged
to several local organizations.
Andrew died 16 Feb 1936 at age 66, living on 117 th St. He was buried in Maple
Grove Cemetery in Prospect Section, Plot 47 Grave 1 sel 885. Cause of death
Wife Stella returned to Canada after her husband’s death and according to a
descendant his body was removed when she died and buried with her in Canada.
Wife: Maria (Marie) Ellena Jorgensen, b. 19 Feb 1868 Denmark (date extrapolated from
age at death); arrived in NY 1889 per 1900 census; married Andrew J Riis in 1894 per
1900 census; died 24 Nov 1905. Buried at Maple Grove: Maria E Riis in Prospect 47
Grave 2; age 37y 9m 5d, died of consumption.
Son: Edward Jensen Riis b.8 Jan 1895 Richmond Hill, NY; WWI US Navy Newport RI.
26 Apr 1917 to 11 Nov 1918. Coxswain. 1920 census accountant in PA; Married 18 Mar
1920 to Edna Pearl Miller; 1930 census in PA, he is married 10 years to Edna, age 35;
daughter age 4; Asst Comptroller EF Co. 1940 census in Essex Co. NJ Asst Compt. with
wife Edna and daughter Betty Lu 14. Died 28 Apr 1953 Manhattan. Age 56.
Son: Arthur A Riis b. 20 Aug 1901 NY, d. Dec 1968 Williston Park, Nassau, NY. 1930
age 27 living with parents in Richmond Hill; 1934 married Ellie E. Pearson (1906 - ?) in
Manhattan. 1940 with wife in North Hempstead. Occupation: Industrial Engineer.
Wife: Stella (Histella) Eugenie Asling, b 5 Oct 1869 Wellington, Ontario, Canada, d. Jan
1957 Drumbo, Oxford, Ontario, Canada. Parents Charles Wesley Asling 1843-1919 &
Mary Isabella Cron Morrow 1846-1913. Stella was a writer and very active in Richmond
Hill organizations. Married Andrew J Riis, 10 Oct 1906 in Wentworth, Ontario. Died in
Canada in the late 1940’s and was buried in Hamilton Cemetery in Ontario.
Other family of Andrew J Riis:
Parents: Hans Thomas Jensen Riis 1840-? ; Christine Margrethe Andersen 1849 – ?
Andrew (Andreas) Jensen Riis 1869-1936
Jens Hansen Riis 1871-1961; arr NY 10 Jun 1892; 30 May 1900 married Laura A
Jensen (1881-1963) 4 children; Laurence Johannes Jensen Riis 1902-1979 (born
Brooklyn, died in NH with descendants in NH ; VT; (from Riis family tree by
Laura Riis on Ancestry) civil engineer; son Louis b.1905; construction engineer;
daughter Margaret b. 1907, son, Holger Frederick b. 1912
o 1910 Richmond Hill w/family and sister Anna 25; builder
o 1920 Dutchess Co Poughkeepsie builder
o 1930 Tenafly NJ; architect with wife, children, grandchildren and father-in-law
o 1940 Ithaca, NY, with wife and daughter, Margaret Hasenpflug and her
Hans Christian Riis 1877 Denmark – 24 May1959 Brentwood Suffolk NY; arr.
NY 1895; carpenter; stair builder; 1900 married Helen Andersen, died in Angle
Sea Nassau, NY; 1910 Palo Alto Ave. Holliswood; 1920 Poplar St near Kelsey St
(93 rd Ave & 219 St.). Queens with Helen 42, Alfred 17, Thor 15, Helen 5; 1925 at
93-02 219 th st.; 1930 at 93-02 219 th St. Hollis Queens; builder/employer; with
daughter Helen 15; no 1940 census found.
Caroline Riis 1881-1896 Denmark
Anne Riis b. 1884 – at age 25. Anna was living with brother Jens in Richmond
Hill in 1910; married builder carpenter Niels Sondergaard.
There is no family connection between this Riis family and that of the famous Jacob Riis
who also lived in Richmond Hill.
Andrew J Riis had his own building and contracting company in Richmond Hill. A photo
shows a group of workers in a construction site under a sign marked Andrew J Riis
Building Contractor Railroad Ave. Richmond Hill. One of the workers (with a pipe) is
identified as Ole Levardsen, a master carpenter from Norway who lived on the corner of
Bessemer and 116 th St. This was the home of Ella Flanders whose companion was Ole’s
sister Bertha Levardsen. Bertha lived there 1893 when she came from Norway at age 18.
Bertha inherited the house when Ella passed on in 1921 and continued to live there for
several more years. Ole worked in the Richmond Hill area into his 80s. Andrew Riis
built a home for his family at 85-26 117 th St. According to a newspaper article by Ron
Marzlock in 2002, Andrew J Riis built some of the 50 homes on the streets named Beech,
Willow, Walnut, Oak, Elm, Chestnut, Maple & Cherry. His business was located at
Railroad Ave & 117 th St. Later Railroad Ave was renamed Babbage St.
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