Lawton is a city in and the county seat of Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States. It is the principal city of the Lawton, Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. Founded in 1901, Lawton lies in southwestern Oklahoma, near the Wichita Mountains. Lawton is the cultural and commercial center of the area. Lawton is home to large granite deposits as well as cotton fields. Fort Sill, Fort Sill Indian School, and Medicine Park are all nearby.
On August 6, 1901, the auction of town lots began, ending sixty days later. A tent city had grown up in anticipation of the auction, and banks, saloons, stores and other service industries sprang up overnight. Within one year, there were 100 saloons. Gambling was epidemic. In 1902 deputy US marshal, Heck Thomas, was sent to settle things down and was elected as Lawton’s first chief of police, a position that he held for seven years until his health began to fail. Gambling remained legal until outlawed on Nov 16, 1907, coincident with the establishment of the State of Oklahoma. Local legend through the years has noted that members of a Lawton church put a final end to gambling in the city by setting a gambling tent on fire.
The Rock Island Railroad expanded, rolling into Lawton on September 25, 1901, joined soon thereafter by the Frisco Line. There was also a city streetcar line that ran through downtown Lawton and several residential areas until the 1940s.