Deputy Sheriff Lane Temple falls in love with Cimarron City's pretty new school teacher, Laura Winfield. Beth Purcell becomes suspicious of her newest boarder when she sees Laura meet with a shady character on her first evening in town and suspects that the young woman is trying to distract Lane from guarding a valuable gold shipment.
Saloon singer and town drunk Ossie Harper shows shyster lawyer Addison a land grant his father earned in 1859 deeding him the land on which Cimarron City was built. Ossie only wants to be respected, but his crooked partner's determined to bleed Cimarron City dry by extorting money from each businessman to allow them to remain on the land they've already developed.
An itinerant printer moves to Cimarron City with his pretty daughter and gets a job at the town's newspaper. The paper's apprentice is attracted to the girl, though her father does his best to prevent the courtship from progressing. Meanwhile Sheriff Simpson and Deputy Sheriff Temple investigate the brutal murders of two women.
After Cimarron City's sheriff is murdered, Deputy Sheriff Lane Temple captures the killer and locks him in jail awaiting trial. The killer's gang demands that the outlaw be released immediately or they will burn the town to the ground. Temple develops a plan to capture the gang before they can do any damage, but the frightened town council objects.
While traveling by train to Denver, Matt Rockford meets and falls in love with Lisa Caldwell, a beautiful woman who, unbeknownst to him, has been falsely accused of murder. Lisa is blackmailed into losing five thousand dollars in a poker game to a U.S. Marshal as a bribe to free a notorious outlaw and his gang. When the prisoners escape and the train is snowbound, Matt, Lisa and their fellow passengers find themselves in deadly peril.
A Paris-trained choirmaster of falls in love with the beautiful soprano who sings in Cimarron City's church choir. He decide to eliminate the young woman's fiancé by making it appear that her ex-boyfriend, a hot-headed cowboy with an itchy trigger finger, murdered him so he can marry his talented protégée.
A young would-be gunslinger trying to earn a reputation challenges Matt Rockford to a gunfight. The youngster panics and accidentally shoots a whiskey bottle, splattering glass shards into Matt's eyes, blinding him. While Rockford recovers, he recounts his early days when he was forced to defend his reputation as a fast gun in every town he visited.
A group of Danish immigrants journeys to Cimarron City in search of free land to homestead, only to discover they had been cheated by a disreputable businessman in St. Louis. Matt Rockford offers to rent them some of his land until they get back on their feet, but conflicts arise when the newcomers start to fence waterholes on the property to prevent Matt's cattle from trampling their crops.
Cimarron City's businessman band together to build a railroad spur to the main track, but have only 90 days to do it or a neighboring town will be awarded the contract. The general contractor hires a cut-rate construction company to lay the track, importing a gang of Chinese coolies to do the heavy labor. Things go well for a time until the coolies revolt against the low pay and poor working conditions, threatening to scuttle the project and ruin the spur line's stockholder and the Cimarron City with them.
Cimarron City is cut off when a regiment of Mexican lancers joins forces with a small army of American renegades intent on recapturing Texas and returning it to the Mexican sovereignty. With telegraph service to the U.S. Army cut off, Sheriff Lane Temple attempts to cause the two disparate units to have falling out before they can execute their plans of conquest
Professor James King, a charlatan boasting of magical powers arrives in Cimarron City and promptly puts on a séance where he calls the spirit of a dead man to visit from the dead. Matt Rockford isn't too concerned about the gullible citizens who are taken in by the professor's tricks until he detects a sinister motive behind the hypnotist's visit.