Born: April 5, 1850, Towner Hill, Rome, Pennsylvania.
Died: October 3, 1919, Longwood, Missouri, while leading the music for an evangelistic meeting.
Buried: Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.
Pseudonym: Robert Beverly.
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.