Asa Turner (1799–1885) - American Education
American clergyman, educator and cofounder of the famed “YALE BAND,” which was instrumental in bringing public education and colleges to the West. Born in Massachusetts, he attended and was ordained at Yale in 1830. While there, he joined an association of seven theology students who pledged to carry education westward by founding an institution in Illinois. There, they hoped to train preachers and teachers who would fan out across the rest of the west to establish more churches and schools. Playfully called the Yale Band (they played no instruments), the group sent Turner to establish a church in Quincy, Illinois, in 1830. He followed that triumph by helping to co-found Illinois College. He spent the next eight years tirelessly encouraging the growth of education in Illinois, establishing a public school in Quincy, soliciting funds for the college and assisting in the establishment of new congregations. In 1838, he moved to Denmark, Iowa, where he established another church and obtained a charter to found a new institution called Denmark Academy. He then joined members of an “Iowa Band” that had formed at the Andover Theological Seminary to campaign for the establishment of public schools and to found Iowa College, which later merged with Grinnell College.