Lawton is located in southwestern Oklahoma in Comanche County and serves as the county seat). It lies at the intersection of U.S. Highway 62 and Interstate 44 with Fort Sill Military Reservation and National Historic Landmark just northwest of the city. The Wichita Mountains Nat'l Wildlife Refuge lies northwest of the fort.
The city was founded in 1901 south of the fort, when the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache reservation, the last of the Indian lands in the Oklahoma Territory, was opened for settlement by the federal government. A lottery system was used to distribute the land in 160-acre plots, rather than the unruly method of the infamous "land runs" used previously in other parts of the Territory.
Lawton is named in honor of Gen. Henry W. Lawton, a Spanish-American war hero, who is also credited with the capture of reknowned Apache Chief Geronimo in 1886.
Water-based recreation is provided by Lake Ellsworth and Lake Lawtonka to the north and Waurika Lake to the southeast.
Other local attractions include the The Historic Mattie Beal Home and the Museum of the Great Plains.