Sam is the bumbling, elderly sheriff of the town and Buck's owner. He first shows up riding Buck and nails a wanted poster for Alameda Slim on a post. He reappears later to bring a bank notice to Pearl, explaining that the banks are going to auction off her farm if she can't pay the full amount she owes them because they are losing so much money due to cattle rustlers leaving behind so many bankrupt ranchers. After suggesting that Pearl sell off a few of her livestock to pay the debt, she chases him off her property in a fury, sending him running.
Sam is seen again later when Mrs. Calloway, Maggie and Grace go to town and try to find him to ask for more time to get the money, running into Buck in the process. They see the Sheriff pay the fake bounty hunter Rico a large sum of money when Rico turns in a criminal, giving Maggie the idea to catch Alameda Slim for the reward, which Mrs. Calloway thinks is a ridiculous idea. When Maggie and Mrs. Calloway later start fighting and causing a commotion, Sam runs out and ropes them both and Grace. He then ties the three bovines to the back of a chuck wagon, mistakenly thinking they belong to the cattle driver and not realizing they're Pearl's cows.
When Rico mentions he needs a fresh horse, Sam tries to think of a horse for the false bounty hunter, describing everything that Rico would need in a mount, with Buck immaturely showing off behind them, trying to prove that he was the perfect horse. Rico eventually chooses to take Buck, with Sam warning him about his headstrong nature.
Later, after Rico had tried to enlist some ranchers to return Buck, only for the stallion to escape the ranchers and run off to prove himself to Rico again, Sam and his dog Rusty become visibly sad as the ranchers explain what happened to Buck, both of them clearly missing the wild-natured horse.
In the film's climax, Sam is auctioning off the farm, unknowingly selling it to Alameda Slim (disguised as Yancy O' Del), and attempting to auction off Pearl's chicks. Seeing the train (which Pearl's cows hijacked earlier to get home) coming dangerously behind them, the auction-goers panic. Pearl rushes forward to grab the chicks before they get hurt and shoves the Sheriff out of the way of the train just as he notices it. After a brief battle, the cows get the best of Slim when his disguise is removed, revealing his true identity. Sam becomes shocked and horrified that the auctioneer who is buying Pearl's farm is Alameda Slim, and then ropes up the outlaw who is gagged and hauled off to jail. The Sheriff later arrives with the reward money and asks Pearl if she can find any use for it, to which she happily states that her farm is saved and pays the debt she owes the bank.
At the end of the film, Sam dances with Pearl as they and all the farm animals (who are also seen dancing) celebrate Little Patch of Heaven being salvaged and re-opened.