John Drew Austin was a representative of the Leslie-Judge publishing company. He lived at 1900 Barclay Street in 1919.
Much of John’s life history is unclear, partly because his own stories about his life were sometimes inconsistent and unreliable.
According to a story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in June 1923, John was born in Oakland, California on October 1, 1883. (Other sources give his birth year as 1880.) His father was in the wholesale liquor business in San Francisco. After John finished school, he worked as a bookkeeper in his father’s office. He later worked as an auditor and a criminal investigator.
During the First World War, he registered with the United States military draft system.
He was in Vancouver by 1919, when he was accused of obtaining money by false pretenses.
The prosecutors later stopped the prosecution and allowed civil court proceedings to go ahead instead.
In 1922, John, his wife Lucille, and their daughter, Rose, went to Hawaii.
In 1923, John was a witness in a trial in Honolulu, Hawaii, in which he accused the chief of the Honolulu Police of graft. (At the time, John was also charged with forgery.)
John later became bankrupt.
In June 1923, a Honolulu newspaper published a story that purported to tell the true story of John’s life. However, John was the major source for the story, and it is difficult to say which parts of the story are accurate.
Later in 1923, the state of California was attempting to extradite John to face charges in California.
Later in 1923, he was in California. He tried to claim that he did not earn income in Hawaii because he obtained his living by “fraud and theft.”
John’s legal issues continued in 1924 and 1925. He faced embezzlement charges in California.
He received a sentence of four years imprisonment in Leavenworth. He was also charged with perjury.
In 1929, there were reports that he had escaped from Leavenworth, but prison officials denied that anyone had escaped.
No further information is available for John or for his family.
Harry F. Horn was the manager of the Leslie-Judge company office in Vancouver, which had an office at 524, 744 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. Among the many Leslie-Judge publications was Leslie’s Weekly. This newspaper was a popular illustrated literary and news publication, which provided reports and illustrations of wars throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s. It also published stories about the Klondike gold rush and the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.
“Fact and Fiction”. Reproduction of painting by Norman Rockwell used as cover illustration for Leslie’s illustrated weekly newspaper, of 11 January 1917
The Leslie-Judge Company went into receivership in 1921, and it went out of business in 1927.
John Drew Austin
“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZVP-3JN : 13 March 2018), John Drew Austin, 1917-1918; citing Oakland City no 5, California, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,531,212.
“California, San Francisco Passenger Lists, 1893-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX4P-ZQ3 : 12 March 2018), John D Austin, 1923; citing San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1410 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 2,378,949.
“Austin Gave Diamond Ring, Claim in Suit,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 21, 1923, page 3, column 1 [bankruptcy of John Drew Austin].
“Who is John D. Austin?” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 16, 1923, page 17.
Frank Leslie’s Weekly, http://www.accessible-archives.com/collections/frank-leslies-weekly/.
Frank Leslie, Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Leslie: “Frank Leslie (March 29, 1821 – January 10, 1880) was an English-born American engraver, illustrator, and publisher of family periodicals.”
Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Leslie’s_Illustrated_Newspaper.
“Leslie-Judge Co. in Receiver’s Hands; Liabilities $2,210,000, Assets $420,000, and Losing Money Regularly,” New York Times, February 24, 1921.
“Leslie Judge Company Declared Insolvent,” The Lewiston Daily Sun – February 22, 1921, page 13, http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0aYgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Q2kFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2805%2C3110049.