April 5, 1850, Towner Hill, Rome, Pennsylvania.
October 3, 1919, Longwood, Missouri, while leading the music for an evangelistic meeting.
Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.
Towner studied music under his father (a well known singer and teacher in his own right), John Howard, George Root, and James Webb.
He was music director at the Centenary Methodist Church in Binghamton, New York (1870–82); the York Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Cincinnati, Ohio (1882–84); the Union Methodist Episcopal Church, Covington, Kentucky (1884–85); and the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois (1893–1919). The American Temperance University in Harriman, Tennessee, awarded Towner a Doctorate of Music in 1900. His works include:
- Hymns of New and Old (Chicago, Illinois: Fleming H. Revell, 1887)
- Hymns of New and Old, No. 2 (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1890)
- Bible Study Songs for Junior Societies, Junior and Primary Sunday Schools, with Bertha F. Vella (Boston, Massachusetts: Pilgrim Press, 1899)
- Hymns of Faith and Praise (Dayton, Ohio: Lorenz Publishing, 1901)
- Famous Hymns, with Edwin Excell (Chicago, Illinois: Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1907)
- The Ideal Song and Hymn Book (Chicago, Illinois: Fleming H. Revell, 1909)
- Hymns Tried and True (Chicago, Illinois: Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1911)
- The Voice of Thanksgiving (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1913)
- Songs of the Great Salvation, with William Runyan (Wichita, Kansas: Runyan Music Publishing, circa 1918)
- The Tabernacle Hymns, with Arthur McKee (Chicago, Illinois: Tabernacle Publishing, 1918)