Lawton's Background & History
Once a part of the great Comancheria, Lawton was established 1901 (before statehood) in Comanche County. Nicknamed "L-Town", we are located in Southwest Oklahoma just 40 miles north of Wichita Falls, TX and 88 miles south of Oklahoma City. The area is in the Southern Plains where buffalo herds and the latest technology continues to grow.
Nearby is the Fort Sill Army Base (est. 1869), the only active Army installation of all the forts on the southern plains built during the Indian Wars. The Fort is also famous as the holding facility for the great Chiricahua Apache warrior, Geronimo. Near headquarters is the Fort Sill Cemetery. Chiefs Knoll, the highest point in the grounds is where many chiefs of the Southern Plains Tribes are buried including the Kiowa Chief Satank, Comanche Chief Ten Bears, Last Chief of the Comanches Quanah Parker, and Little Rave of the Arapaho. Fort Sill is designated as a national historic landmark and serves as home of the U.S. Army Field Artillery and the Field Artillery School.
In addition, Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Nations' Tribal Headquarters are nearby offering a rich culturally diverse heritage. The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, north of Lawton, with its scenic mountain range, lakes, plains, prairies, and animal population are the crowning jewel for the "Big Sky" experience.
Because of these unique resources and history, our area has been a host to pre-production, production, and post-production activities for many years. One of the first films for our area was 1908's, "The Bank Robbery", produced by US Marshall Bill Tilghman and directed by US Marshall John Jack Abernathy. Featured in the film is the last chief of the Quahadi Comanche Indians, Quanah Parker and his daughter Wanada. Other silent films made in our area include "Sign of the Smoke" (1914) produced and directed by Frank V. Wright of Geronimo Film Company and the "The Daughter of Dawn" (1920), directed by Norbert Miles and distributed by the Texas Film Company. Recent discoveries in the archives of the Museum of the Great Plains found that Buffalo Bill Cody also produced films on the Fort Sill Military Reserve. The City of Lawton is pleased to continue service to not only our local independent film makers but to the national and international production companies that work within our area.
We are served by Interstate Highway 44, also designated as the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. It connects the city with Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to the northeast and Wichita Falls, Texas to the south. Other highways are U.S. Highways 62, 277 and 281, and State highways 7 and 36, that connect Lawton with other locations in and out of Southwest Oklahoma. The Lawton/Fort Sill Regional Airport offers commuter airline flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Atlanta/Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, GA.