Severally injured in a horse fall at the age of seven, Samuel Beman was never free from pain and discomfort. He arrived in Winona in 1855, already a member of the New York and Alabama bars, staked out a claim, and married in 1857. That year he was elected to the first of three terms in the Minnesota Senate. He died on May 9, 1882, aged sixty. In an editorial in the St. Charles Union his integrity in public life was recalled:
"As a public man he was never understood by the multitude. Cast in an antique mold, he was uncompromising where principle was involved. There was no swerving from what he regarded as the right path. Of an 'obstinate and losing honesty,' he would have become a pauper if necessary to repel assaults upon his reputation for integrity character and fair dealing among men. He desired the applause of his fellow-citizens, but he scorned to obtain it at the sacrifice of a single conviction. He was not of those who obtain power and place by discreet silence when measures affecting the public welfare were being considered. With all the energy of an impassioned nature he made known his thoughts, and left the decision with those to whom it belonged, regardless of personal consequences."