I cannot connect him to my family as of yet, but I found who I believe to be him in the 1900 US Federal census from Liscomb Township, Marshall County, Iowa living with parents Layton Elliott (Aug 1848 - born Ohio) and Mary (Jan 1857 - born Iowa) married 22 years with five sons - James M, John R, Rueben H, Ira E, and William M.
I find the same family in the 1910 census, still in Marshall County, Iowa, but the father's name looks like Taylor now, the old handwriting is so hard to read, but I think it is Taylor in both censuses and got miscoded as Layton in the 1900.James is not with them, he would have been 26 and was probably out on his own.The other children are still there.
Do you have the obituary for James M Elliott?I think that might be helpful for identifying his parents.I think the families will end up being related as there are also Ruebens in my Elliott line.
If you can connect into my Elliott family, I have information for many generations back, on most lines.They are mostly Quakers, and some lines go back into England.
I will still try to work on connecting them a little.I will let you know what I find out.An obituary might be very helpful.