LAWTON, Okla._The city of Lawton turns 114 years old on Thursday, but many gathered Tuesday to celebrate its birthday a little early.
The party was held at City Hall, and Mayor Fred Fitch took the opportunity to honor the Pioneer Women's Club and the Lawton Rangers. They have been a part of Lawton's history for more than 70 years. Also honored was Dr. Charles Graybill, he was unable to attend the ceremony, but was the recipient of the Lawton Excellence Award.
Mayor Fitch said Graybill was one of the founders of the McMahon Foundation and made a major impact on the city's development.
Mayor Fitch has been a part of the community since the 50s and said in the last 60 years, he has seen the city grow and come to thrive.
"It's just amazing the things that have transpired and taken place in this community and the challenges they've been through and everything else. But we're very fortunate and we've got a lot of good people doing a lot of great things in this great community," Fitch said.
Minnette Page was born in Lawton and has lived here for the last 80 years. She's a former City Council member and a longtime educator; she shared a couple of the city's milestones.
"They improved the water system in 1923. Another big milestone was when the schools in Lawton integrated in 1956, long before other schools integrated," Page said.
Page also said the people of Lawton have always been friendly and proud of their city.