The citizens of Horicon established a library for public use within its school in 1850. In 1869, the library moved downtown where local businesses housed and cared for it. For many of the years following 1874, it found a home in EM. Griswold’s store and post office. In 1899, the Horicon Free Library Association was formed under the leadership of Principal ET. Johnson and used the front room of the Odd Fellows Hall as its front door. Two years later, the room over the furniture store became the Library for 14 years until 1915 when Post Office space was acquired to house it.
Moving again in 1926, the library found a permanent home in City Hall on West Lake Street until relocating in 1957 into the new City Hall on East Lake Street where it occupied space in an upstairs meeting room. In 1993, the library moved downstairs into the renovated fire engine bays designed specifically for library use.
In 1900 the City of Horicon appropriated $300 (the equivalent of $8,113 in 2018) for the library's budget. In its early years, additional funds were earned by donations and fundraising efforts using the talents of individuals and groups through the schools, churches, city band, minstrel shows, and theatricals. In 1948, the city provided $1,400 to the library and today its contribution to the library’s budget is over $200,000 annually.