Elmer Ackerman was born in 1902. He was the youngest of 13 children of Berend and Elizabeth Hayunga Ackerman and grew up on a farm near Aplington, Iowa. He graduated from Aplington High School and received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Iowa and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Iowa Law School.
In 1938, Elmer married Arlene Warren and moved to Iowa Falls, where he practiced law in Iowa Falls and Alden until the early 1980s. He also served as Mayor of Iowa Falls for eight years. In 1985, Elmer was given a 50-year membership award by the Iowa State Bar Association. He was a devoted 35-year member of the local chapter of Rotary International, a charter member of the Iowa Falls Elks Club, a 65-year member of the Masons and a 20-year member of the Shriners.
In 1986, Elmer established the Elmer Ackerman Endowed Scholarship at Ellsworth Community College. This fund continued to grow with gifts in his memory from family and friends.
Elmer passed away on May 30, 1987. His wife, Arlene, died on February 2, 1989. They are survived by their two daughters Kay Wallace and Janet Meyer. His obituary read: “Elmer was a just a good man, wise and witty and wonderful – a human being who showed us much about how to live.” This did indeed reflect the character.