He studied at Oberlin College and Ohio Wesleyan University, but graduated from neither.
He served as the 42nd Governor of Ohio. They had one son, Parmely Webb Herrick. In 1886, he helped to finance the founding of The National Carbon Company, along with West. H. Lawrence, James Parmelee, and James Webb Cook Hayes (see Webb Hayes), son of United States. President Rutherford B. Hayes, in Cleveland, Ohio.
This company would come to figure prominently in the history of the consumer battery and the flashlight.
Herrick was a Presidential elector in 1892 for Harrison/Reid. Herrick served as the Governor of Ohio from 1904 to 1906.
(future United States President) Warren G. Harding served as his Lieutenant Governor. He had been a protégé of political boss Mark Hanna, but in 1906 was defeated by the efforts of Wayne Wheeler and the Anti-Saloon League after he refused to support their plan for prohibition of alcohol in Ohio.
He subsequently served as United States Ambassador to France from 1912 to 1914 and again from 1921 to 1929.
He is the only American ambassador to France with a street named after him in Paris, in the 8th arrondissement. Herrick was the ambassador who hosted Charles Lindbergh in Paris after his successful New York to Paris Atlantic crossing in 1927. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States. Senate in 1916 against Atlee Pomerene.
Herrick was serving as United States Ambassador to France at the time of his death on March 31, 1929.
He died from a heart attack. He is interred at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.
From 1885 to 1888, Herrick was a member of Cleveland City Council.