Elmer was the son of Sanford Lawrence and Mary Helen Ellsworth. He married in 1890 to Claudia Elizabeth Tawney. They appear in the 1900 census of Yamhill County, Oregon. He was a farmer. In 1910 through 1930 they were in Portland, Oregon. He was in real estate, loans, and insurance.
Children of Elmer and Claudia: Mildred Claudia Lawrence Rowley (1893-unk) Helen Marie Lawrence Runk (1904-unk)