The citizens of Horicon established a library for public use at the school in 1850. In 1869, the library was moved downtown where local businesses housed and cared for it. For a number of years following 1874, it found a home in EM. Griswold’s store and post office. Then 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 the library. Two years later, the room over the furniture store became the library, until 14 years later when in 1915 the Post Office space was acquired to house it.
Moved again in 1926, the library found a home in the 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. When the building was renovated in 1993, the library moved downstairs into its current location.
In 1900, $300 was appropriated from the City for the library’s budget. In its early years, because the money provided by the city wasn’t sufficient to run the library, additional funds were earned by the talents of individuals and groups through the schools, churches, city band, minstrel shows and theatricals; gifts were also given by individuals and groups. In 1948, the city provided $1,400 annually to the library and today its contribution to the library’s budget is over $200,000 annually.