Towle Roads :

Tracing family routes through old photos

Benjamin M. Towle (3) as a young boy.


Mary Josie Fowler Rand.


This book presents, through available pictures, a photo book of the ancestors of the Rand family of Epsom, NH. One of the oldest photos from the family tree is that of Hannah Sanborn (1798-1877), who married the first in a line of three Benjamin M. Towle's. Hers is the only photograph of an ancestor born before 1800, and thereby was chosen as the starting point for this travel back in time. Included is genealogy, history, burial locations and photos relating to this family. Pictured, Karl and Helen Rand.


Hannah Sanborn (1798-1877) married Benjamin Marden Towle.




Hannah Sanborn was born in Epsom, NH, Feb. 8, 1798 to Josiah Sanborn and Anna Locke. The Sanborn family came to Epsom about 1760 when they bought from Charles McCoy, his homestead on what is still called today, Sanborn Hill. McCoy already had a tavern at this location, and Eliphalet started the same, as in the town records is found the following in 1761: We the Selectmen of Epsom do judge that Eliphalet Sanborn is a suitable person to keep a House of Entertainment for Horse and man and travelers in said Epsom. John McClary, Nathan Marden, Ephraim Lock, Selectmen.


The Sanborn Genealogy is well documented in the book by V.C. Sanborn, though the wife of Reuben Sr. is not fully identified. Reuben married Margaret Richardson in 1727, she the daughter of Joseph Richardson and Margaret Godfrey. This relationship was proved by court papers in the disposition of the property of one of her brothers who died suddenly in 1743, with both Reuben and Margaret signing. They had several daughters and  the two sons mentioned above. It is not known when either Margaret or Reuben Sr. died, though it is assumed he died in Epsom. His son Eliphalet married Margaret Wallace shortly after he moved to Epsom, Nov. 19, 1761. She was the daughter of George Wallace and Margaret McClary, this union providing the genealogical link of the Rand's to the McClary family of Epsom.


From The Minnesota Society of the Sons of the American Revolution; Eliphalet Sanborn was born at Hampton, N.H., July 9, 1730; removed to Epsom, N.H. about 1760, and died there July 27, 1794. He enlisted as a private in the New Hampshire militia at Epsom, and served in the campaign around Lake Champlain and at Ticonderoga in the year 1777, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne after the battle of Saratoga. In the campaign he was disabled by sickness and rendered unfit for military duty, and the tradition of the family is that his life was shortened from ten to twenty years by exposure incident to the military services rendered at the age of 47 years. Eliphalet Sanborn had served a term of enlistment in the Colonial or English Army in the French and Indian war from 1758 to 1760, in a company organized at Hampton, NH, in the year 1858, and had been under the command of Major-General Wolfe in Northern New York and Canada. Whether he was one of the five thousand that formed the English line of battle on the Plains of Abraham in September, 1759, is not known. This service no doubt led to his further military service in the Revolutionary War, after he was 47 years of age, during which he naturally broke down in health, and was never afterwards a well man.


Eliphalet and Margaret had a large family: Josiah born 1763; Lydia 1765; Rachel 1768; William Sanders 1770; Andrew 1773; Margaret 1775; Jane McClary 1778; Simon 1780; Caleb 1781; and Eliphalet 1790. Of the children, Josiah, born in Epsom, Oct. 4, 1763, married March 6, 1789, Anna Locke, daughter of Moses Locke and the elusive Mary Organ. Josiah Sanborn, Esq., being the eldest son, inherited the Sanborn homestead when Eliphalet died in 1794,  and his wife raised their family there. Their children included: Deacon Frederick Sanborn 1789; Capt. James Sanborn, 1791; Nancy, 1793; Rachel, 1796; Hannah 1798; Josiah, 1800; and two infant children who died young, a male in 1802 and a female in 1804. Of these children, Hannah married January 11, 1821, in Epsom, Benjamin Marden Towle.


The Sanborn Homestead on Center Hill.


Sanborn burials in the McClary Cemetery.


Left: Mr. Eliphalet Sanborn, died July 27, 1794 ae 64 years (Rev. War Vet)

Right: Mrs. Margaret (Wallis), wife of Eliphalet Sanborn, died April 29, 1836 ae 92 yrs 1 mo & 16 days

Left: Josiah Sanborn Esq. died June. 14, 1842 ae 79.

Right: Anna (Annah Locke), wife of Josiah Sanborn Esq, died Aug. 18, 1838 in the 79 year of her age.


From the Farmer's Cabinet Newspaper, 12-31-1825

At Epsom, about 12 o'clock, on the night exceeding Monday the 19th instant, the barn belonging to Josiah Sanborn, Esq. together with its contents, 30 tons of hay, 20 head cattle, including a yoke of large fat oxen, a horse and various other articles, was consumed by fire. By the timely exersions of the neighbors, the house, which was united with the barn by a shed, was preserved. The residence of Esq. Sanborn is upon the side of McCoy Mountain, and the flames of the burning building presented a sublime and awful appearance. From the time of night at which the fire took, it is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary. Loss about $1000 - no insurance.


Concord Gazette 3-11-1815

The following communication was received two or three weeks since for publication. We had heard the story to which it relates, and the source when it sprang, but deemed it too ridiculous to require contradiction. As, however, we are informed, great exertions are making to circulate this report, with a view to prevent the election of Mr. Sanborn, we feel it our duty, in justice to the character of the Gentleman, to insert the certificate of Levi Towle, Esq., the person with whom the transaction referred to, took place.


I the subscriber, hereby certify, that I have known and dealt with Josiah Sanborn, Esq. of Epsom, for many years. I always found him to be a fair, honest, upright man, in all his dealings. I never knew him to take any property of any kind from me wrongfully. The story that is in circulation of Esq. Sanborn's taking a twenty dollar bank bill from me, wrongfully, is a mistake. I know of no such thing: There was a 20 dollar bill swept from my table by some means, I know not how, but I did not miss the bill until Esq. Sanborn asked me if there was not a mistake about the money he had paid me; I answered not to my knowledge; I will look and see, Esq. Sanborn said you need not look, for I have taken off the floor a twenty dollar bill, and I know it to be the same bill I just paid you, and handed it to me.



Feb. 9th, 1815




The Towles first lived at Hampton, NH, and moved later to Rye before coming to Epsom.

Jonathan Towle Jr., of Rye (1729-1800+ ) owned land in Epsom before 1770, and lived there in old age. He married Elizabeth Jenness, and according to Benjamin M. Towle (3), they both died in the family homestead.

Their children were:

            Simeon M., 1752-1823

            Mary, born 1755, married James Hobbs

            Levi, born Feb. 1, 1757 in Rye, married Mary Locke and Perna Judkins

            Anna, born 1759, married Nathaniel Marden

            Hannah, born 1762, married William Yeaton and settled in Epsom

            Elizabeth, born 1764, died unmarried in 1835

            Joseph, born 1766, married Sarah Wallace, daughter of Abraham and settled in Epsom

            Benjamin, born 1769, married Betsey E. Wood and resided in Epsom

            Sally, born 1775, married Lemuel Bunker


As can be seen, Epsom became the home for several of the sons and daughters of Jonathan and Elizabeth. William Yeaton resided on Black Hall Road. Their home is what was later called the Ordway house. Joseph and his wife Sarah Wallace, lived on the lot that was later the Epsom Poor Farm, and in more recent times known as the Cutter house. Benjamin married Betsey E. Wood, a direct descendant of Mary McCoy, the first child born in Epsom.


Simeon Towle and Solomon Marden divided a lot in what the family called the Towle pasture, at the top of Colby Road and Leighton Brook drive. In the later writings of Benjamin M. Towle, written in 1936, he relates that "only the cellar hole and the well remain." A pile of rocks in the field remains today, the site of the old barn. Simeon married Elizabeth Marden August 2, 1779, after serving in both the French and Indian, and the American Revolution, where he served as private and sergeant in Capt. Joseph Parsons' company, Colonels Gilman and Nichols in command, New Hampshire regiment (DAR records). It was this family homestead where Simeon and Elizabeth raised there family, and where his parents resided in old age. They were buried there in a family burying ground, and were later moved by Benjamin M. Towle (2) to the Gossville Cemetery. For a complete genealogy of Simeon's wife, Elizabeth Marden, see Sylvia Getchell's book "Marden Family Genealogy."


Left: Home of William Yeaton and his wife Hannah Towle.  Later known as the Ordway house.

Right: Home of Joseph Towle and his wife Sarah Wallace. Once the town poor farm, and later owned by Robert Cutter.


Simeon M. Towle and his wife Elizabeth Marden had the following children born in Epsom:

            Rachel Dowst, born 1786, married Levi Locke and resided in Chichester, NH

            Betsey, born 1790, married John Yeaton, resided Epsom

            Parna T., lived in Epsom, unmarried, lived in a house built for her by her brother Benjamin on Black Hall Road

            Benjamin M., born Sept. 20, 1794

            Simeon, born Feb. 9, 1800, married Hannah Yeaton, daughter of William & Hannah (Towle) and lived in what was later the Karl Rand home.


1-27-1823   SIMEON TOWLE - In Epsom, on the 3d inst. Mr. Simeon Towle, in the 71st year of his age. He served in the French war, and the war of the Revolution, with honor to himself and fidelity to his country. He sustained an unblemished reputation for integrity and industry, and till a few days previous to his death enjoyed an uninterrupted course of bodily health, when he terminated his earthly career with composure and resignation. At his interment, an appropriate and well adapted sermon was delivered upon the occasion by the Rev. Mr. Prentice of Northwood. (N.H. Statesman)


James Babb, in his diary, notes "Simeon Towle died of Intemperance in the 71st year of his age," and on the next day he attended the funeral.


Benjamin Marden Towle (1786-1857), was the first of three generations to bear the name. He married Hannah Sanborn (see page 5), January 21, 1821, in Epsom. He was deeded the old homestead in 1816, with the provision of having to care for his parents during their lifetime. Benjamin later built his own home just a short ways down the hill from the original homestead, the fate of the original building either burned or just suffered from old age. This new home, in later years referred to as the Colby house, was described in part by Harriet Sanborn Towle, granddaughter of Benjamin. "There was an extension on the north side of the main house which was my grandmother's kitchen. She also had the old parlor and a bedroom back of it."


 NH Statesman 12-5-1857 - In Epsom, Nov. 18, very suddenly, Benjamin M. Towle, aged 63 years and two months. He had suffered for some years with a disease of the heart, but death interposed and terminated his sufferings without a struggle while sitting in his chair. He was a man of decided opinions, respected by all who knew him as neighbor, a citizen and a Christian.

By his death a large circle of acquaintances and friends have sustained a loss, as also the Congregational church of this town, of which he was a faithful member. NH Statesman 12-5-1857


The Towle/Colby House


Children of Benjamin Marden Towle and his wife Hannah Sanborn.

Left to right: Sarah Huse, Benjamin Marden, Clarissa Marden, Catherine E. (Kate) and Charles Augustus Towle.


Benjamin Marden Towle and his wife Hannah Sanborn's children were:

            Sarah Huse Towle, born 1821, married John Wallace, she died July 23, 1899

            Elizabeth Marden Towle, 1823-1834, In Epsom, April 5, of scarlet fever, Elizabeth Marden, aged 10 years and 5 months, daughter of Benjamin M. Towle.

            Nancy Nealley Towle, born 1826, married John Shaw and resided Chichester, NH, d. Dec. 5, 1895

            Benjamin Marden Towle, born 1828

            Catherine S. Towle, 1832-1840, In Epsom, July 30, of brain fever, Catherine S. Towle, daughter of Mr. Benjamin M. Towle, 8.

            Clarissa Marden Towle, born 1834, married Alfred E. Ambrose, resided Massachusetts

            Charles Augustus Towle, 1837-1899, married first, Jennie Lay of Chicago, Il.

            Catherine (Kate) E. Towle, born 1842, married as his 2nd wife, John H. Dolbeer, d. Mar. 5, 1924


Benjamin Marden Towle, the second of that name, was born in Epsom November 2, 1828, and inherited the homestead on the death of his father in 1857. He married first, on May 1, 1850, Eliza Ham, daughter of William Ham and Nancy Hopkinson. She died in 1861, having had three children. Benjamin married second, Feb. 11, 1862, Harriet Edgerly, daughter of Nathaniel Edgerly and Elizabeth Boynton. They had two children.


The children of Benjamin Marden Towle (2) and Eliza Ham were:

           George Benjamin Towle, 1851-1851, lived one month

           Harry Freeman Towle, born May 20, 1852, married Dec. 23, 1880, Annie Sproul

            Annie Eliza Towle, born April 8, 1857, married first in 1881, Joseph Richardson Smith. He died and she married second in 1908, Herbert Warren Colby


Photo circa 1860 of Benjamin Marden Towle, his first wife Eliza Ham and daughter Annie Eliza. Photo courtesy of Mike Lawrence.


Benjamin M. Towle (2) writes: My father married Eliza Ham for his first wife and lived with the Ham's. Deeds indicate that Squire Ham (William) first conveyed half the property to him and later the rest. My father lived there before moving up the hill to the Towle place. I think my father must have sold the place to James Burnham who lived and died there. PHOTO: The Ham Homestead on Black Hall Road.


The children of Benjamin Marden Towle and his second wife, Harriet Edgerly:

            Benjamin Marden Towle, born 1862, married Feb. 2, 1887, Annie Lydia Cilley

            Harriet Sanborn Towle, born 1867, married Oct. 10, 1896, Fred Winburn Dudley


Upon the death of his first wife, Benjamin moved from the Ham home on Black Hall Road back to the family homestead at the top of Colby Road. Here he raised his four surviving children, and where he remained until his death May 19, 1887. His second wife, Harriet died March 4, 1910. The Towle family has a large plot in the Gossville (Hopkinson) Cemetery.


Benjamin Marden Towle (2) and his second wife, Harriet Edgerly.


Below: Children of Benjamin M. Towle (2) and their spouses.


Left to right: Harry Freeman Towle and his wife Annie M. Sproul. - Joseph Richardson Smith, 1st spouse of Annie Eliza Towle. She married 2nd Herbert Colby.


Left to right: Benjamin M. Towle (3) and his wife Annie Lydia Cilley. - Fred Winburn Dudley and his wife Harriet Sanborn Towle.



Below: Benjamin Marden Towle (2) and his wife Harriet Edgerly in later years. Above, another view of their home on Colby Road.


Benjamin M. Towle (3), known around town as 'Mard' Towle, built a house on Black Hall Road, next to the old Ham, later Burnham home. Here he farmed and raised his family, and for a time operated a steam mill. Benjamin M. Towle died May 17, 1945 at his home. His wife died July 26, 1953. They had one daughter.

            Helen Gladys Towle, born Sept. 21, 1889, and married Karl Fowler Rand, June 17, 1914.


Helen Gladys Towle

The B.M. Towle house, later the home of Carleton & Joyce Rand.


"Mard's" Mill.


TOWLE FAMILY BURIALS, Gossville Cemetery, Epsom, NH




Annie Lydia Cilley, who married Benjamin M. Towle, was born in Epsom, March 30, 1865 to Daniel Thomas (Tom) Cilley and Lydia Ann Babb. The line of Cilley's traces back directly to the famed General Joseph Cilley of Nottingham and Revolutionary War fame.

           Daniel Thomas Cilley, b. May 1, 1834 in Deerfield, married Lydia Ann Babb

           Samuel Plumer Cilley, b. Oct. 12, 1795, Nottingham, NH, married Hannah W. Critchett

           Col. Daniel Cilley, b. March 12, 1759, Nottingham, NH, married Hannah Plumer

           Gen. Joseph Cilley, b. 1734, married Sarah Longfellow



Daniel Thomas Cilley, known in town as 'Tom' Cilley, and his wife, Lydia Ann Babb.


Daniel Thomas Cilley and Lydia Ann Babb had two children:

           Luella J., born Sept. 17, 1860 in Chichester, and married on Jan. 2, 1882, Joseph Lawrence.

                     They had one child, Eva Augusta Lawrence who married as his first wife, John Cox.

           Annie Lydia, born Mar. 30, 1865 in Epsom, married Daniel Thomas Cilley.

Daniel T. Cilley died Sept. 23, 1920, his wife Lydia died June 24, 1903.




The Daniel T. Cilley house, which later burned.

Daniel T. and his wife Lydia Ann in front of their home.


The original Epsom Cilley homestead was built just before 1800 by Col. Daniel Cilley as "the Cilley Tavern." The associated story is the use of rum to persuade those building the new road to have it pass by the tavern.


Cilley Family Burials


Grave of General Joseph Cilley in an old family plot in Nottingham, NH - Graves of Col. Daniel Cilley and his wife Hannah Plumer. McClary Cemetery.


Left: Graves of Samuel Plumer Cilley and his wife Hannah W. Crichett. Gossville Cemetery.  Right: Graves of Daniel T. Cilley and his wife Lydia Ann Babb. McClary Cemetery.




Lydia Ann Babb, wife of Daniel Thomas Cilley, was the daughter of John Babb and Salome Rand.

John Babb was born May 20,1802 in Epsom, the son of John Babb and his wife Anna Holmes. On Feb. 2, 1826 in Chichester, he married Salome Rand, daughter of Richard Rand and Anna Lake. They made their home on North Road where they raised their three surviving children:

            William Pickering Babb, born 1828 and married Rebecca J. Heath

            Martha Ann, born about, 1830, died Aug. 6, 1835       

           Lydia Ann, born August 11, 1836, married Daniel Thomas Cilley


The old Babb homestead on North Road.

John and Salome (Rand) Babb.


Graves of John Babb and his wife Anna Holmes - John Babb and his wife Salome Rand. McClary Cemetery.





Karl Fowler Rand was born May 22, 1891 to Walter Stearns Rand, son of Gilman Moody Rand and wife Caroline Stearns; and Mary Josie Fowler, daughter of Samuel Fowler and Elvira Ann Critchett. Walter S. married Mary Josie Fowler June 8, 1889.  Karl F. Rand married Helen Gladys Towle, daughter of Benjamin M. Towle and Annie Lydia Cilley.


RAND LINE from Deerfield, NH.


Walter Stearns Rand 1863-1905, son of:


Gilman Moody Rand 1834-1924 and Caroline Clinton Stearns 1838-1902, married March 4, 1863


Gilman Moody Rand was the son of:


John S. Rand 1800-1843 and Elizabeth Sherburne 1798-1882, married Nov. 20, 1823


John S. Rand was the son of:


William Rand 1757-1842 and Mary James 1749-1844, married Apr. 12, 1782


William Rand was the son of:


Thomas Rand 1717-1796 and Elizabeth Chapman, christened 1722, died unknown, married December 17, 1741


Karl F. Rand and Helen G. Towle had the following children:

           Infant, 1915-1915

           Dorothy Towle Rand, 1917-2006, married June 19, 1935, Clifford Osborne.

           Keith Fowler Rand, 1921-1996, m 1st Dorothea Mindt, 2nd Peggy Vallas, 3rd Doris (Gill) St. Pierre, 4th Gertrude Gerschon.

           Carleton Towle Rand, born August 4, 1931, married Nov. 19, 1950, Joyce LeDuc of Pittsfield.


Dorothy Towle Rand, Keith Fowler Rand, Carleton Towle Rand


Karl F. Rand and Helen G. (Towle) Rand and family at their 40th Anniversary.



The Karl Rand homestead was built sometime after 1815. In 1821 John Dyer bought land and buildings from Edward Lawrence, and a few months later sold it to Simeon Towle. Simeon (1800-1872) was the son of Simeon M. Towle and Elizabeth Marden, and a brother to the first Benjamin M. Towle. He married Hannah Yeaton, daughter of William Yeaton and Hannah Towle. The property passed to his son Charles W. Towle,  who resided there until his death in 1899. Benjamin M. Towle (3) bought the farm from the estate, and it later became the home of his daughter Helen after her marriage to Karl Rand.




Samuel Fowler was born May 8, 1821, the son of Winthrop Fowler and Abigail Davis. He married Nov. 16, 1854,  Elvira Ann Crtichett, daughter of James Critchett and Sally Green. She was born Jan. 10, 1827 and died Apr. 26, 1911. Samuel died Mar. 25, 1898. Their children were:

            James W. Fowler, 1844-1918, married Jan. 15, 1868, Ruhamah  J. Locke.

            Ella Maria Fowler, 1848-1929, married Feb. 10, 1873, James B. Tennant

            Charles Baker Fowler, 1849-1894, married Jan. 24, 1875, Emma O. Tennant

            Horace Fowler, 1855-1914, married Apr. 26, 1879, Ida Mary Holt

            Grace Annie Fowler, 1860-1864

           Mary Josie Fowler, born Jan. 14, 1863, married June 8, 1889, Walter S. Rand, she died Feb. 11, 1926


Left: James W. Fowler and his wife, Ruhama J. Locke. Center: Ella M. Fowler. Right: Mary Josie Fowler.


Thomas Critchett and his wife  Margaret Wallace, were probably the first to occupy this site. The land passed to his son James Critchett and wife Sally Green n 1817. Upon the death of James Critchett, the land became the property of Samuel Fowler and his wife Elvira Ann Crichtett, a daughter of James and Sally. The next to live at the farm was James W. Fowler and his wife Ruhamah Locke, James being a son of Samuel and Elvira. The property was sold in 1917 to Karl Rand, who sold it in 1934 to George Allen. In 1971 it was bought by Michael Sklarin and his wife and granddaughter of Karl Rand,  Claire Osborne.



Thomas Crtichett 1772-1839, married Feb. 14, 1793, Margaret Wallis (1772-1841). Children:

            James, born 1795

            Sarah, 1797-1869, married Nov. 14, 1816, William McMurphy 1793-1845

            Edward, born 1799, nothing more known

            Hannah W., 1801-1875, married Dec. 20, 1827, Samuel Plumer Cilley

            Mehitable, 1804-1879, married Dec. 12, 1822, Rev. Silas Green 1801-1874

            Jane Wallace, 1806-1840, married Dec. 25, 1828, Nehemiah Knox

            Thomas, 1811-1859, married abt. 1841, Eliza Conn, resided Massachusetts

James Critchett, born 1795, died Apr. 24, 1841, married Feb. 1, 1823, Sally Green, daughter of Jabez Green and Anna Smith. She was born Nov. 24, 1789 in Chichester, and died Sept. 4, 1853. Children:

            Mary G. Critchett, 1823-1880, married before 1845, Joseph C. Baker

           Elvira Ann Critchett, married Samuel Fowler


Left: Elvira Ann (Critchett) Fowler. Right: Fowler monument in the Short Falls (Epsom) Cemetery.


Graves of Thomas Critchet and his wife Margaret (Wallis) Critchett -  James Critchet and his wife Sally Green. Short Falls Cemetery.

Graves of Mary Josie Rand, Karl Fowler Rand and his wife, Helen Gladys Towle. Short Falls Cemetery.