Lawton is a small urban city in southwestern Oklahoma. The town’s namesake is Henry W. Lawton, an Army officer and veteran of the Civil War and Spanish American War. Oklahoma Territory is the last place in the continental United States with a land run for homesteading land.
From its conception as a regional county seat, Lawton became a military town benefitting from industries the U.S. Army and the railroad brought into Oklahoma Territory. From the start, Lawton was a planned regional capital.
Much of Lawton recognizes Oklahoma history alongside Native American history, as reflected in the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center and The Museum of the Great Plains. Lawton was the planned seat of the still-forming county government structure, which labeled that Oklahoma territory as Comanche County.
- Oklahoma and Indian Territories have the distinction of being the last places in the continental United States that had a land run.
- Major General Lawton was a quartermaster at Fort Sill, a U.S. Army base built right after the Civil War.
- Lawton was part of an Army operation to pursue and capture Geronimo.
- Oklahoma became a state in 1907.
- Museum of the Great Plains: This interactive museum got its start in 1960. Since then, it’s been providing changing exhibits that are self-directed and multi-angled to appeal to all ages. Highlights include an animated dinosaur, hands-on experiments and a printing press.
- Geronimo’s Grave: Geronimo was a famous shaman from the Apache people that led many raids and revolts. He spent his last years as a prisoner of war and died at Ft. Sill. His grave is among his fellow Apache prisoners of war.
The Holy City: The Holy City is a 66-acre area that was designed to mimic Israel during ancient Biblical times. The site features a number of historical replications and is home to the nation’s longest-running Easter passion play.