The date of establishment for Totten School is unknown. Mrs. Cobb writes in her History of Education of Trimble County that there were eight (8) one-room rural schools in Trimble. By 1849, fifteen (15) more were added including Totten School. Her reference for this addition was its mention in Hamlett Barksdale's History of Education in Kentucky, Department of Education in Frankfort, Kentucky. Stating that Totten School was established circa 1850 is a fair assessment.
The first documentation found regarding acquisition of land for the school grounds was an indenture made Spring 1874 between Dr. John Totten and his wife, Mildred Black Totten, parties of the first part; and Frank Lee and William Dean, parties of the second part, Trustees of School District Number 19 and their successors in office (see Deed Book J, page 117, office of the Trimble County Clerk). This deed defined the enclosure sold to said Trustees but it does not mention a school building. It specified that "two-fifths of the land together with two-thirds of the house thereon unto them, the said Lee and Dean, Trustees of the District No. 19 as aforesaid and their successors in office -----." The other three-fifths of the land and one-third of the house belonged to H.P. Fix and is not conveyed in this deed.
In the Spring 1875, there was a land transaction between H.P. Fix and Martha Black Fix, his wife, of the first part; and Frank Lee, Trustee of District No. 19, and his successors in office of the second part (see Deed Book 31, page 386, office of the Trimble County Clerk). The deed read as follows:
" ....containing one-eighth acre to have and to hold said lands and appurtenances thereto belonging remains so long as it may be used for school purposes. Should it cease to be used for school purposes, the land reverts back to the original owner, H.P. Fix or his heirs. The house and all appurtenances thereto belonging remains as the property of the district with the privilege of selling or removing the same within two years after it ceases to be used for school purposes."
In addition to the above, the above named district agrees "to keep up the fence from the southeast corner of the said school house to county road in back to a stone wall west of the house, also from north west corner of house to county road in back of Barebone Creek". For this Fix received $27.80, respectively. Fix and Totten jointly owned this property. Fix received less due to retaining a lien on the property.
School Picture, 1911
Identities from Left to Right
Bottom Row: Joe Yager, Sidney Abbott, J.D. Starling, Ruby Conn, ____ Sampson, Elmer Chandler, Perry McClure, ____ Sampson.
Second Row (seated): Nadine Starling, Fredia Chandler, Tink Yager, Mamie Conn, Joe Andrew, Christine Mullikin, Viola Barrickman, Lewis Garriott.
Standing at the end of the second row: Claudys Lee, Edwina Andrew.
Third row: Roy Maxfield, Flora Burton, Selby Burton, Corene Fix, Daisy Garriott, Thelma Fix, Gladys Priest, Edna Westover, George Ann Rowlett, Ruby Maxfield, Hazel Joyce, and Ada Yager.
Fourth Row: Joe Abbott, Leonard Swisher, Herman McClure, Ray Swisher, Henry Barrickman, Elmer Andrew, Ray Button, Henry Rowlett, Justice Chandler, Edythe Priest, Orville Swisher, Sarah Sampson, Nellie Maxfield, and Ethel Abbott.
Fifth Row: Sherman McClure, Pat Abbott, Pearl McClure, Raymond Barrickman, Laura Garriott - Teacher, Denzil Joyce, Georgia Maxfield, Chester Abbott, and Betty Abbott.
The photo provided is from the collection of Christine Mullikin. The bottom of the picture says, "Wise's Landing, Ky. 1911. Photo by O.S. Matthews and Bro."
Additional information on the history of Wise's Landing can be found online, published by Northern Kentucky Views here.