A recent study from Iowa State University took a look at the state of rural towns in America and their quality of life.
As part of that study, Elma was listed as one of 12 "shrink-smart" towns within the state of Iowa, so FOX 47 went to the town to talk to the people and see what they believe makes their small town great.
"You know everybody and everyone knows you, very friendly little town," said Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk.
"There's always stuff going on, for all ages," said Laura Zenner, a resident of Elma.
For the people of Elma, it's about more than just having the convenience and amenities a larger town offers, it's the community and ease of life.
"I like to be able to come home and take my dog for a walk and not be bothered about work or anything. It's just quiet, it's peaceful," added Zenner, "You wave at everybody because you know everybody."
It's the small things, residents say, that drive the people to stay.
"Well I've been in Elma since 1991, I love working with people and visiting with people and it's just kind of fun now.. been here 27 years and you kind of learn all kinds of different things about em and it's just kind of fun to try and sell them something and a lot of our products sell themselves.. so it gets easier all the time," said Roger Merick, Owner of Elma Locker and Grocery.
Residents also talked about how even the things you might not even think of add to their love of the town.
"I just enjoy the small town feel, I enjoy that we can get together and hey let's throw pumpkins into the field and all of a sudden two weeks later, we're launching pumpkins into the field. I don't think in larger towns you can do that," Zenner said.
And if you ever find yourself driving through Elma, don't be afraid to roll down your window and talk to somebody.
"If you stop on a street corner and ask anybody anything, they'll be able to answer you," says Gebel.
Although the love for the present small town life is abundant, they also keep a focus on what's ahead.
"Everything is also very geared toward the future, we don't want to see the town die down, we'd want to see it grow," said Gebel.
One thing was clear, even as the sun sets on this small town, it won't be going away anytime soon.
"It's kind of a little town, but it's still going strong," added Merick.
"It's fun, we have a lot of fun," concludes Gebel.
And coming soon, Elma is opening up their new bike trail that goes all the way up to Northern Iowa and eventually up to Austin, another way you can go visit Elma.