FENN, SERENO PECK (25 Apr. 1844-3 Jan. 1927), prominent in the SHERWIN WILLIAMS CO., was born in Tallmadge, Ohio, to Sereno and Elizabeth Carrothers Fenn. He arrived in Cleveland in 1862 to attend HUMISTON INSTITUTE. In 1864, he served 4 months in the Ohio 164th Infantry. In 1865, Fenn began as a clerk in the Cleveland, Columbus & Indianapolis Railroad freight office, but rather than violate his religious convictions by working on Sundays, he quit the railroad in 1870.
In 1869, Fenn attended an international YMCA convention, meeting fellow delegate Henry A. Sherwin. In Apr. 1870 Sherwin hired Fenn as cashier-bookkeeper in the new partnership of Sherwin-Williams & Co. In 1880, Fenn became a partner and treasurer. In 1884 the partnership was incorporated, with Fenn as an incorporator and significant stockholder. He was vice-president from 1921 until his death. Fenn was a director of the Cleveland YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSN. from 1868-1920 and its president for 25 years, with special interests in educational programs. In 1930, the Cleveland YMCA School of Technology was renamed Fenn College in his honor. Fenn was an active member of the FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (OLD STONE) from 1865 to his death, serving as elder, trustee, and superintendent of the Sunday school. He married Mary Augusta DeWitt in May 1870, who died in 1917. He married Helen Barry Wright in July 1918, who died in June 1923. Fenn had no children of his own. His stepdaughter, Elizabeth Huntington DeWitt, married JOHN L. SEVERANCE†.Last Modified: 16 Jul 1997 11:07:08 AM