In the chaotic days following the American Civil War, a strong-minded ex-Union soldier, Ralph Hartsook (Norman Foster), sets out to become a school teacher in a dusty Indiana town. Even though bitterness against the "Yankees" still runs deep, he gets the job - mainly because none of the townspeople thinks he'll last very long. Facing a hostile classroom, Ralph slowly wins over his pupils, especially class bully Bud Larkin (Fred Kohler, Jr.).
Trouble ensues when the schoolmaster falls for the same girl Bud wants to marry, an off-limits servant girl named Hannah (Charlotte Henry). Misunderstandings quickly mount all around, pitting Ralph against Bud, land-hungry war veterans and treacherous local politicians. All hell breaks loose when a hooded band of bloodthirsty nightriders descends upon the noble teacher.
Adapted from Edward Eggleston's best-selling novel, The Hoosier Schoolmaster features child star Charlotte Henry, who appeared in the classics Alice in Wonderland (1933) and Babes in Toyland (1934), a.k.a. March of the Wooden Soldiers, with Laurel and Hardy.
Norman Foster appeared in many films throughout the 1930s, including Young Man Of Manhattan (1930), Up Pops The Devil (1931), State Fair (1933) and Escape From Devil's Island (1935), before becoming a director and screenwriter. Highlights of his work include several Mr. Moto movies and three of the best films in the Charlie Chan series. Foster is also remembered for directing several immensely popular "Davy Crockett" television shows for Walt Disney.
A Civil War hero becomes a school teacher after the war in a small Indiana town, only to confront crooked politicians who need to be straightened out.