Born: March 14, 1826, Buckland, Massachusetts.
Died: April 14, 1888, Boston, Massachusetts.
Buried: Plain Cemetery, Ashfield, Massachusetts.
William was the son of William Sherwin and Marcia Carter, and husband of Mary Ann Howes.
After moving to Boston as a teenager, he studied music under Lowell Mason. He later worked at the New England Conservatory of Music, and taught singing in Massachusetts and New York.
He was the first music director of the Chautauqua Movement near Chautauqua, New York, and was musical editor at Biglow and Main publishers.