Elmer Clarence Hume was born in Washington County, Kentucky in 1887. He attended area schools and became a school teacher. Hume entered the School of Dentistry at the University of Louisville in 1910 and graduated in 1913. Later, he taught oral surgery at the School of Dentistry.
In 1917, Dr. Hume limited his practice to oral and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Hume perfected a number of techniques that were widely adopted by dental and medical professionals. Among his accomplishments was being the first dentist in Kentucky to perform a cleft palate surgery. He also developed splint treatment for nasal bones; tongue clamps, instruments for connecting depressed fractures of the maxillae, the molar bones, and the zygotic arch; as well as perfecting an operation for closure of openings between the maxillary sinus and the oral cavity. Dr. Hume was a member of the Kentucky State Dental Association, the Louisville District Dental Society and the American Dental Association. Dr. Hume passed away in 1985.