August 6, 1901, the day the town of Lawton, OK was established. That was the moment when the last of the Indian lands in the Oklahoma Area, the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache reservation, was opened by the federal government for negotiation. As opposed to land runs used in various other parts of the Region, a lottery game was presented for land circulation in 160-acre stories. An individual desiring a claim needed to register for the illustration. On July 10, 1901, registration opened up at Fort Sill and also at El Reno, Oklahoma. Regarding 29,000 aspiring homesteaders from all over the USA journeyed to the southwest Oklahoma Area to register at Ft Sill throughout the 16-day registration period. An additional 135,000 persons registered at El Reno. Lotto game planners in Washington, D.C. did not foresee the big droves of people desiring land in that part of the country. The illustration started July 29th at El Reno, and only 6,500 were privileged adequate to be picked for a homestead in each of 3 districts, one of which was Lawton.
The Lawton townsite was located on a section of meadow south of Ft Sill, a military post established as a mounties fort in 1869. Lots within the 320-acre townsite were sold at public auction. Starting on August 6th, winners of the land lottery chose their plots outside the townsite in the order that their names were drawn. Mattie Beal was the second individual whose name was attracted the lottery and also her home still stands in the south main part of Lawton, on a portion of the 160 acres she chose. It has actually been completely restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Even more information on the Mattie Beal house).
Having actually emerged virtually over night with little prior planning, Lawton had no form of municipal government at its start. Townspeople, living in camping tents for several months, were hectic constructing homes and businesses, and setting up a federal government was not a high concern. Since Lawton was developed as the county seat of Comanche Region, it was first ruled, after that, by the area federal government assigned by the guv of the Oklahoma Region. In late October of 1901, an election was held, as well as the Lawton city government was developed. The very first police officers elected were mayor, city clerk, judge, treasurer, city attorney, road commissioner, city marshall, 8 city councilmen, a school board treasurer, as well as eight school board participants. This mayor-council system lasted until 1911, when Lawtonians voted in a charter-commission type of government with 3 commissioners. In 1921, Lawton again changed governments, to among 5 commissioners and a city manager. Then a year later on, voters repealed the charter and also went back to the politically aligned mayor-council type of government. This form lasted for HALF A CENTURY, when in 1972, citizens adopted a charter and the council-manager system, which is still in place today.
Lawton faced lots of issues throughout its very early years. In the very first days, there were an estimated 25,000 people living in camping tents. There were no roads or walkways and also no utilities; minority schools were chock-full, the supply of water was inadequate and also dirty, and fires were tough to consist of. Hopes of Lawton ending up being a thriving metropolitan area surged, after that faded from one frustration to the next. Its 1910 population was under 8,000. Numerous mining cases in the neighboring Wichita Hills failed to generate gold ore. A proposed railway linking Lawton with profession from the east was abandoned when oil was struck west of Ardmore. Oil drillings in the Lawton location showed to be superficial and barely efficient. Despite these barriers, Lawton continued to expand, slowly and progressively at times, and in excellent spurts at others. By 1950, population had actually increased to virtually 35,000 as well as mushroomed to over 80,000 by 1990. Much of its development featured the establishment of the Area Artillery School at Ft Sill. Throughout the years Lawton as well as Fort Sill have actually worked in teamwork to become among the finest military areas in the country, as well as has actually made it through U.S. Military troop decreases, in fact acquiring troops that were cut at various other Army messages recently.