Born in Wyoming, Elmer Turner moved to Colorado as a child and remained there until serving in World War I. After, the war Turner returned to the states and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. At the Institute, Turner met and married his wife, Ila McAfee (also a fine artist). Together the two left Illinois and eventually settled in Taos, New Mexico. Sadly, Turner suffered from a neurological disorder and was paralyzed shortly after making their new home. Turner’s art can be found at multiple New Mexico museums, including Taos Art Museum and Harwood Museum of Art.