Richard Judson Towill was born on October 12, 1839 in Middlesex County, Virginia. He served in Company I, Virginia 55th Infantry Regiment in 1862, but mustered out due to ill health. Towill then attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Greenville, S.C., graduating in 1867. He pastored churches in North Carolina, and in Dry Creek and Rocky Creek in South Carolina. He married Angeline Marshall Bell in 1871 and they settled in Edgefield, S.C.
Towill passed away on September 28, 1875 at Kalorama, Edgefield County, S.C.