The Town of Elma is located in the south-central part of the county, southeast of Buffalo, New York. Because of its location, Elma likes to refer to itself as the "heart of Erie County". It is part of the Southtowns.
The region was first settled around 1827. The early residents included members of the Ebenezer Society.
The town was established in 1857 from parts of the Towns of Aurora and Lancaster. Elma was the last town formed in the county. When the town was formed, a resident suggested it be named after a famous large American elm, then growing in the town.
Fran Striker, the creator of The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet, was killed in a car accident here on September 4, 1962 while moving with his family.