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.
Lawton has three museums that are open to the public. The Museum of the Great Plains is a museum dedicated to natural history and early settlement of the Great Plains. Outdoor exhibits includes a replica of the Red River Trading Post, the original Blue Beaver schoolhouse, and Elgin Train Depot with a Frisco locomotive. The Fort Sill Museum is located on the current military base of the same name and includes the old Fort Sill corral, several period buildings including the old post guardhouse, chapel, and barracks, as well as several artillery pieces. The old fort is also listed as a National Historic Landmark. The Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center, which is operated by the Comanche Nation Tribe, focuses on exhibits and art relating to the Comanche culture past and present. The museum also hosts traveling American Indian exhibitions from the Smithsonian Institute, Michigan State University Museum, and Chicago's Field Museum.
Parks and recreation:
Lawton is home to 80 parks and recreations areas in varying sizes, including the largest Elmer Thomas Park. Along with the park system, the city is nearby three major lakes, Lake Lawtonka, Lake Ellsworth, and Elmer Thomas Lake where boating, swimming, camping, and fishing are permitted. The Lawton branch of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) offers a wide variety of recreational programs to members, and the Lawton Country Club maintains a 18-hole, par 71, golf course. Recreation can also be found in many amateur leagues including: Adult Softball, Youth Baseball, Soccer, Softball, and Volleyball. Northwest of the city is the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in order to preserve the natural fauna of southwest Oklahoma. The refuge includes a Visitor Center, several camping areas, hiking trails, and many lakes for the public to explore