May Lilly

“May Lilly” or "May Lily"

Photographs of the real May Lilly from Fox Film Corporation Scrapbook 
by the Little Colonel Productions, Inc., probably by Kate Matthews.

We first meet May Lilly in Chapter III of the very first story in the series, The Little Colonel  when Old Colonel Lloyd comes riding down the avenue of locusts on Maggie Boy and sees his granddaughter making mud pies on Locust’s stately front steps. Helping her are two African American children, May Lilly and Henry Clay, who live in cabins on the property. The scene, which concludes with the Little Colonel flinging mud on her grandfather’s pristine white duck suit in a fit of pique, was also in “The Little Colonel” movie. Avonnie Jackson played May Lilly and Nyanza Potts, Henry Clay with Shirley Temple as the Little Colonel.

In later books, she is called May Lily.  She appears or is mentioned in The Little Colonel's Hero, Chapter 10 and Chapter 12, The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation, Chapter 15 (where we learn she was one of the "old cook's grandchildren"), The Little Colonel, Maid of Honor, Chapter 7, and in Mary Ware's Promised Land, Part 2, Chapter 8

Sadly, other than the recently rediscovered photos above and the clues in the Little Colonel books, we so far know nothing more about the real-life May Lily