Born in Tamworth, New Hampshire, Bean moved with his mother to Gilmanton, New Hampshire upon the death of his father in 1837. He attended Gilmanton Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, and Union College, Schenectady, New York. He moved to New York City in the early fifties and was employed in the United States customhouse. He also engaged in the brokerage business. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar but did not practice extensively. He moved to Tennessee in 1864 and settled in Columbia and later in Nashville. He served as member of the State house of representatives in 1867 and 1868. He moved to Arizona Territory and settled in Prescott in June 1868. He engaged in mining. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress. He served as member of the Territorial senate in 1879.
Bean was elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1887). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1886 to the Fiftieth Congress. He returned to Arizona and resumed mining operations. He moved to New York City in 1889 but maintained his citizenship and business interests in Arizona. He died in New York City on February 1, 1904. He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.