Cortland Jones was the adopted son of Elbert Jones and his wife, Abigail. He grew up in the bustling little village of High Ridge, Connecticut and his life revolved around that community and its residents. Elbert Jones’ general store was the center of village life where all the neighbors came to pick up their mail, make purchases or simply sit around the stove and swap stories.
Cortland attended school in the one room schoolhouse near the High Ridge Methodist Church until the Willard School (later, the Martha W. Hoyt School and now occupied by the Stamford Historical Society) was opened. After Willard, Cortland went to work in his father’s store of which he would later become the owner for thirty-three years.
He was a lifelong member of the High Ridge Methodist Church, serving as financial secretary, president of the board of trustees, lay leader and treasurer as well as being very involved with the Epworth League, a group for youth and young adults. One of their notable accomplishments under Cortland’s leadership was moving the one room schoolhouse back from High Ridge Road when it was widened and paved in 1929. The little school became part of the community hall next to the church. It was a beehive of activity and entertainment in which everyone could participate.
He married Helen McLaughlin of New Canaan and they had two daughters who also attended the Willard/Martha Hoyt School where they had one of their father’s teachers, Mrs. Mary Dann.
Kim Prins is a second generation artist. His father, Benjamin K. Prins, was a talented illustrator who produced scores of covers for The Saturday Evening Post and illustrated stories by some of the nation’s leading writers in other popular magazines of the day.
Kim studied with Frank Riley at the Art Students League on 57th Street in Manhattan and at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
He and his wife, Barbara, moved to Stamford in 1960 where they bought and faithfully restored a historic house. In addition to painting portraits in his studio, Kim traveled widely to fill his many portrait commissions of business leaders, well-known political figures and members of socially prominent families. The artist’s distinctive signature “Prins the younger” can be seen on this portrait.
Image © Stamford Historical Society