About This Place
The city of Lawton is the county seat of Comanche County, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Located in the southwestern region of Oklahoma approximately 80 miles (130 km) southwest of Oklahoma City, it is the principal city of the Lawton Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the 2010 US Census, Lawton's population was 96,867, making it the fifth largest city in the state.
Built on former reservation lands of Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache Indians, Lawton was founded on August 6, 1901 and was named after Major General Henry Ware Lawton, a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient who was killed in action in the Philippine–American War. Lawton's landscape is typical of the Great Plains with flat topography and gently rolling hills, while the area north of the city is marked by the Wichita Mountains.
The city's proximity to Fort Sill Military Reservation gave Lawton economic and population stability in the region throughout the 20th century. Although Lawton's economy is still largely dependent on Fort Sill, it has also grown to encompass manufacturing, higher education, health care, and retail. The city's government is run by a council-manager government consisting of a city manager and a city council headed by a mayor. Interstate 44 and three major United States Highways serve the city, while Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport connects Lawton by air. Recreation can be found at the city's many parks, lakes, museums, and festivals. Notable residents of the city include many musical and literary artists as well as several professional athletes.