In 1855, Hesson married Margaret Jane Polley (1831-1909) and they had five children. Their house in Stratford was the fine ivy-covered Victorian mansion at 111 Church St., where his extensive flower garden was a source of great pride. Always a public-spirited citizen, Hesson was acclaimed mayor of the Town of Stratford in 1875, a role in which he was followed by his friend Thomas Daly.
From the world of pedagogy, he moved to the world of business, as a clerk in Stratford's first general store, operated by U. C. Lee. It was on Huron Street, just over the bridge, which was a wooden structure in those days. He soon moved into a management position in the store, and in 1856 struck out on his own. John Sebring, the founder of Sebringville, was in failing health and Samuel Hesson took over his business in Sebringville, and soon became that village's postmaster a a justice of the peace. After about 10 years in Sebringville, he sold that enterprise and opened a general store at the intersection of Erie and Ontario streets in Stratford. After a quarter century he retired.
In addition to his political roles, Hesson chaired the board of the Georgian Bay and Lake Erie Railway, and was president of the Stratford Gas Co. on Downie Street, whose business was electric power and lights. He was the first licence inspector when Stratford became a city in 1885, and he issued the first licence to the Albion Hotel, considered to be the ultimate in hotel construction. He was also president for five years of Stratford's first brass band, organized in 1851. He was a warden of St. James' Church and a member of the building committee for the present St. James' Church.
William Battershall, (see Battershall Court) the man who donated the land for the park into which Hesson Street leads, also made a bequest of $500 towards the building of a bell tower and the purchase of bells for St. James' Church. Samuel R. Hesson was on the church committee and donated one of the 11 bells in memory of his mother, Elizabeth (Dunbar)1783-1864. By Stanford Dingman