Harley Daniel Towns was the son of Edgar Daniel Towns and Samantha Elizabeth Gray. His father died when he was very young. He went to eighth grade in school and then went to work on a farm at age 13. During the Dust Bowl years he worked thousands of acres of ground to control the topsoil loss.
He married Roberta Allene Moore at Syracuse, Kansas on August 14, 1933. They lived for 13 years in Kansas before buying a farm in Colorado where they lived until 1988. They rented out the Colorado farmland and moved to Oklahoma. They had three sons and one daughter and celebrated 60 years of marriage before Harley's death.