Studley graduated from Cornell University in 1894, where he was a member of the Quill and Dagger society. He was a reporter for Buffalo newspapers in 1894 and 1895. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1895 and practiced in Buffalo. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Two Hundred and Second Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, serving in the Spanish–American War in 1898 and 1899.
He removed to Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico, in 1899 and practiced law there until 1917. He was a Republican member of the Territorial New Mexico House of Representatives in 1907. He was a member of the New Mexico Statutory Revision Commission in 1907 and was District Attorney of Colfax and Union counties from 1909 to 1910. He was a delegate to the Progressive National Convention at Chicago in 1916. In 1917, he removed to New York City, and continued the practice of law.
In 1932, he was elected at-large as a Democrat to the 73rd United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1933, to January 3, 1935. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law. In February 1935 he was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals and served until his death.
He was buried at the Flushing Cemetery.
- United States Congress. "Elmer E. Studley (id: S001041)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from New York's at-large congressional seat
alongside John Fitzgibbons
Matthew J. Merritt