Samuel U. Towner

Samuel U. Towner, second son of Truman and Sarah (Upson) Towner. He was born at Bridgeport, Addison County, Vermont on 9 Jan 1797. His father was a physician. At the age of sixteen Samuel enlisted in the war of 1812, enrolling in the 29th US Inf. He was in the engagement at Manchester on the Chatequay River, Canada. On 3 May 1820 he was married at Willisborough, Essex, NY to Sophia W. Smith, daughter of Sylvanis and Rena (Rich) Smith and born at Willsborough, NY. They had seven children: Samuel S., James W., Martha, Maria, Augustus, Emily and Caroline.

Mr. Towner pioneered in Byron. He came to this town 2 May 1851 and located 160 acres of soldiers title, which he afterwards sold to his eldest son. Residing himself at Columbia, Lorain County, Ohio, chiefly for the benefit of his children, there being no school in Byron at that time. In the fall of 1865, with his wife and three youngest children, he transferred his residence to this township. Politically he was a radical republican.

Byron Center was platted 6 Aug 1872 for Augustine Godwin by Surveyor Samuel S. Towner. The first addition was made for Laura L. Belden and Russell Nugent on25 Apr 1874, the surveying being done by A. Godwin. Since that period the progress of the hamlet has resulted in a present population of only 120, being about one-sixteenth of the number of people reported in the township in 1880.

 The village was made up of a Methodist Church, public school, a steam flouring-mill and a lumber factory. These industries operated by Mr. H. S. Towner and Mr. S. S. Towner. The principal stores are those of Brown & Jacques, Byron McNeal, N. Murdock and O. Narrengang. At the time there were three physicians: John Campbell, N. Chamberlain and H. W. Strong; the hotel operated by C. J. Carroll; the village blacksmith was N. F. Narrengang, (the blacksmith shop remains on the same location), and the postmaster at that time was Chester Phillips.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 21 February 2014