Sherwin was born on September 27, 1842, in Baltimore, Vermont, and stayed in school until he was 15 years of age. His first job was in a local general store. In 1860, an uncle invited he to Cleveland, Ohio. He soon found employment with Freeman & Kellogg Co., a Cleveland dry goods store. Starting out as a clerk, two years later Sherwin had been promoted to bookkeeper.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Edward Porter Williams graduated from Cleveland Central High School in 1859, then earned a bachelor's (1864) and master's (1869) degree from Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve University).
Henry Sherwin used his $2,000 life savings to buy a partnership in Truman Dunham, a distributor of pigments and painting supplies. In 1870, Sherwin organized a paint business with new partners, Edward Williams and A. T. Osborn. The new business became Sherwin-Williams & Company. The company prospered and in its first year reported sales of $422,390.97.
The company grew quickly, especially after creating ready-mixed paint in 1880. Before the invention of this type of paint, consumers would have to buy the ingredients of paint separately and mix the paint themselves. Thanks to the Sherwin-Williams Company's experimentation, consumers could buy the paint already mixed and ready to be used. In 1888, Sherwin-Williams purchased the Calumet Paint Company near Chicago, Illinois. This purchase opened the American West to the Sherwin-Williams Company, allowing the firm to grow even more quickly.
By 1905, the Sherwin-Williams Company sold paint across the United States as well as in Canada, South America, and Europe. In was in this same year that the company adopted the “Cover the Earth Logo.” During this time period, the company also instituted programs to improve the working and living conditions of its workers. Thanks to the company's efforts on this front, employer-employee relations remained peaceful, while strikes commonly erupted in other firms. During the twentieth century, the Sherwin-Williams Company emerged as the leading manufacturer of paints, lacquers, and varnishes in the United States.
Sherwin was the President of Sherwin–Williams from 1870 to 1909, and chairman of the board until his death on June 26, 1916.
According to en.wikipedia and ohiohistorycentral.org