Elma, New York
- For other places with this name, see Elma.
|Elevation||869 ft (264.9 m)|
|Area||34.5 sq mi (89.4 km2)|
|- land||34.5 sq mi (89 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Town Supervisor||Dennis Powers (R)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0978937|
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.
- Jackson C. Frank, Folk Musician
- Patrick Gallivan, New York State Senator
- Les Kuntar, retired NHL goaltender
- Frank Lazarus, former president of the University of Dallas
- Otto Orf, retired soccer goalkeeper
- James A. Pawelczyk, astronaut
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.5 square miles (89 km2), all land.
Adjacent cities and towns
- Town of West Seneca - west
- Town of Orchard Park - west
- Town of Aurora - south
- Village of East Aurora - south
- Town of Wales - southeast
- Town of Marilla - east
- Town of Lancaster - north
- Town of Cheektowaga - northwest
Major highways in the Town of Elma
- U.S. Route 20 (Transit Rd.), East-West highway (North-South in town) that marks the western border of town with Orchard Park and West Seneca. (Runs concurrent with NY 78 north of Seneca Street.)
- New York State Route 16 (Seneca St.) North-South roadway (Northwest-Southeast in town) that runs concurrent with NY 16 from West Seneca town line to Aurora town line.
- New York State Route 78 (Transit Rd., Seneca St.) North-South roadway that marks west town line with West Seneca (when also concurrent with US 20) and runs concurrent with NY 16 southeast into Town of Aurora.
- New York State Route 187 (Transit Rd.) North-South roadway that forms west boundary of town with Orchard park. (Continuation of Transit after US 20 splits off to west.)
- New York State Route 354 (Clinton St.), East-West route through town from West Seneca to Marilla.
- New York State Route 400 (Aurora Expwy.), North-South highway (runs generally East-West through town) from West Seneca town line at NY 16/NY 78 to Aurora town line just east of Village of Aurora.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,304 people, 4,186 households, and 3,294 families residing in the town. The population density was 327.7 people per square mile (126.5/km²). There were 4,296 housing units at an average density of 124.5 per square mile (48.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.09% White, 0.05% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.07% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 4,186 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.0% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.3% were non-families. 17.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the town the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $56,334, and the median income for a family was $63,922. Males had a median income of $42,679 versus $28,826 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,960. About 2.3% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
Communities and locations in Elma
- Billington Heights – A location in the south part of the town.
- Blossom – A hamlet in the northwest corner of the town. It was the principal location of the Ebenezer Society.
- Buffalo Creek – A stream flowing westward through the northern part of the town. The French name for this stream was Beau Fleuve, and the name of the city of Buffalo, New York is derived from the stream. There were no Buffalo living in the area in the colonial period, although they are now raised on several farms locally. As it approaches the City of Buffalo, the creek is called Buffalo River.
- Cazenovia Creek – A stream flowing northward through the southwest part of the town.
- East Elma – A hamlet in the southeast corner of the town.
- Elma – A hamlet near the northern town line on Bowen Road.
- Elma Center – A hamlet near the town's center and south of Elma village on Bowen Road.
- Spring Brook – A hamlet on Route 16 near the eastern town line.
Public schools in Elma are under the jurisdiction of the Iroquois Central School District. Iroquois Central Schools consistently enjoys top rank as the 5th or 6th best public school in the Western New York area. Consisting of approximately 3,000 students district-wide, Iroquois divides its students in an unconventional manner, with three separate primary schools for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade, an intermediate school for students in 4th and 5th grade, a middle school for students from 6th to 8th grade, and a high school for students in 9th to 12th grade.
While the primary schools are located in the respective towns indicated by their names (Elma Primary, Marilla Primary, and Wales Primary), the other three schools are located on the same expansive campus at 2111 Girdle Road in Elma. The Campus is divided such that the high school and middle school are separated by the intermediate school, acting as a buffer between the similar age groups. The three buildings are connected by walkways, but it is rare that students should need to leave the building to which their grade belongs. In accord, the primary, intermediate, middle, and high school buildings each have their own gymnasium, cafeteria, library, and administrative offices.
One of the greatest assets of this school district is the expansive undeveloped areas surrounding every school, providing plenty of open space for younger students to play and older students to participate in extracurricular activities.
Some of the latest additions to the school, in fact, involve the development of a large field directly across the street from the high school. These fields across from the high school have been developed recently into a parking lot for students as well as both soccer and lacrosse fields for the teams. In addition, the middle school library was recently remodeled, an extra wing of classrooms was added to the high school, and plans are in order for the renovation of the high school music department.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 118.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Iroquois School District