By 1867 Emma had had enough of Louis’s drinking. She left their Wisconsin home and returned to South Bend where she became a school teacher. Her divorce from Pradt became final that year and in November Emma married Edward Molloy, the editor and publisher of the National Union newspaper. Emma and Edward subsequently bought the newspaper and she became the first female newspaper editor in Indiana.
In 1870 Emma and Edward had their only child, a son they named Franklin. Edward was still the editor and publisher of the South Bend National Union and Emma worked, according to the U.S. Census, as an “editress,” apparently sharing her husband’s duties as co-editor. This was a pivotal year for Emma, for besides becoming a mother again, she also gave her first public lecture. Emma had discovered that she possessed another talent, the ability to speak and persuade. Within just a few years, this would transform her life and make her one of the most famous women in the country.
In 1873 Emma recited an “original poem” at a temperance meeting in Elkhart, one of a handful of public speaking events in which she participated that year. But it was in 1874, the year of the Women’s Crusade, that Emma began to perceive herself as a public speaker, and her journey as a national and international temperance advocate began.
The Women's Crusade was so successful that in November 1874 the crusaders held a convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Emma attended this convention and saw the official birth of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which became the “largest and most powerful women’s organization” of the nineteenth century.
In 1880, Emma was appointed the chairperson of the new WCTU committee for prison reform in Indiana. This prison ministry aimed to provide men with a place to live and employment upon their release from prison. It was generally believed that if men were gainfully employed they would not return to a life of liquor and crime, but would remain sober and productive members of society. Without help, these “men of weak moral development…[would] naturally drift back into the old channels of vice” and eventually return to prison. In an address to the WCTU, Emma stated her belief in the possibility of reform for these men who, with the “proper care and protection, might be made useful to society.” Temperance leaders blamed liquor for many of society’s ills, particularly crime and family discord; therefore, it only made sense for the WCTU to form its own prison ministry. It was this ministry and her continued desire to be a reformer of men that led Molloy to the Michigan City, Indiana, prison where she met George Graham, who was serving a two-year sentence for forgery.
 Martha M. Pickrell, Emma Speaks Out: Life and Writings of Emma Molloy, 1839-1907 (Carmel, Indiana: Guild Press, 1999), 3.
 John Palmer, South Bend: Crossroads of Commerce (North Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2003), 80.
 Elkhart Daily Review, May 21, 1873.
 Jack S. Blocker, Jr., David M. Fahey, and Ian R. Tyrrell, Editors, Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History, Volume I: A-L (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003), 685.
 Indianapolis Sentinel, February 5, 1880.
 Indianapolis Sentinel, February 7, 1880.
© 2018 Connie Yen