The library was founded in 1939as the Pike County Free Public Library. The first librarian was Miss Madison Irwin. From 1939 to 1978, the library was part of the Waverly High School. In 1978, the library was moved to North High Street in Waverly. Finally, in 1985, the library was moved to its present location at 207 North Market Street in Waverly.

The library's present location was a generous gift of J.B. Wilson. Mr. Wilson requested that the library be known as the Garnet A. Wilson Public Library of Pike County, in honor of his wife. Since then, the library has flourished, with the addition of branches in Beaver, Piketon, and Western Pike County.