Profiles in OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: Rudolph Kroener, Co-Owner of Former Gas Station that's Now Orange's Filling Station

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The Filling Station in Orange is an okay-enough place once you get over their retro design, one facilitated by the fact that it used to be a auto service station (hence, it's name). Doesn't matter what I think--it's always slammed, especially since they now offer dinner. 

But just in case you do go, check out the picture on the background of their lunch menu. "Historical Note: Rudy Kroener- attendant circa 1925 in front of the Filling Station - Old Towne Orange," reads the caption, and it's wrong in three ways. Primeramente, the old structure was primarily a service station that also happened to serve gas. Kroener was also no mere attendant--he was co-owner of the Kroener and Baker Service Station, according to the city directory circa 1925.

But more importantly? Kroener was a Klan member.

Interestingly enough, Kroener was one of the few OC KKK members of the 1920s who lived in Orange, a surprising fact given Orange was a sundown town and that its neighbors, SanTana and Orange, were hives of Klucker activity. And also surprising considering there was a massive Klan rally in the fair city, a cross-burning--wait, we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves in this series...

But the takeaway from this episode is to see how funny it is when Orange County businesses, in their desperate attempt at legitimacy by associating the local past with a bucolic, nostalgic time, too often choose to ignore the facts when reality sets in. Will the Filling Station disclose that Kroener was a Klan member instead of a mere cheery gas pusher? Is Chapman University a fountain of liberal thought?

Tune in every Monday around 5 p.m. for the latest entry exposing Orange County city fathers who were Klan members!

Previous entries:

William E. Fanning, Brea Schools Pioneer, Namesake of Fanning Elementary
Jesse L. Hunter, San Juan Capistrano Innkeeper, Owner of Mexican Restaurant
John A. Leuzinger, Brea Mayor, Founder of Brea Electric
Newton E. Wray, SanTana Rancher, Failed City Council Candidate
Samuel F. Hilgenfeld, Buena Park Minister, Founder of Anaheim's Hilgenfeld Mortuary
Elmer E. Heidt, OC's First Scout Executive for Orange County Boy Scouts Council
James W. Newell, Fullerton-area Miner/Mason
Garland C. Ross, Santa Ana dentist, batted against Walter Johnson
Ferris F. Kelley, San Juan Capistrano Postmaster
Clyde Fairbairn, Longtime Olive resident/nice guy
Charles McClure, Brea's first police chief
John F. Pieper, Tustin feed-store owner, councilmember
William Starbuck, Fullerton school trustee, druggist
Hoyt Corbit, Yorba Linda pioneer, fan of Richard Nixon
Lucien Proud, La Habra mayor/school trustee
Albert Hetebrink, Fullerton rancher
Henry W. Head, Orange County godfather
Dr. Roy S. Horton and Marshall Keeler, Santa Ana Unified trustees
Sam Jernigan and Jesse Elliott, Orange County sheriffs
Herman Hiltscher, Fullerton bureacrat

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28 comments
Mochilagorilla
Mochilagorilla

Slow week, I guess.. "desperate attempt at legitimacy"? At what, being a self hating local business, eager to call attention to the sins of how many owners ago? Who gives a crap!? it's a shame that what is losing it's legitimacy is the sad state of the once respected act of whistleblowing, or whatever this particular post is. I am a Mexipino who regularly enjoys the kindness and damn fine baked goods at the Filling Station, and I often find your columns well researched, wittily stated and your viewpoints understandable, even if I don't agree. What I don't understand is why you need to resort to enshrining past evils and mudslinging at a local business that is currently owned and run by a minority entrepreneur. Your indignation at what you percieve, or at least present to be relevant, only serves to hurt the cause of immigrant and minority legitimization you purport to stand up for. You're shooting us in the foot, especially if the current Filling Station loses revenue because of your inane post and can no longer supply pie of the quality that I have grown accustomed to..anyway, I just get worked up if it affects my pie.

marciasong
marciasong

higher gas prices? where can you get money for gas? there are several secrets to auto insurance industry, If you have good credit, you'll pay less. check out "Auto Insurance Clearance" for more secrets

fretsward
fretsward

Immediately it is clear as in all things that come from anchor baby America haters, this story is was filled with racial bias as well. The basic theme of this pap is that Mexicans are and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class white instead of the resource-robbing illegitimate klan with the tan.

In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if Latinos are abused. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through your  cracked lens. This biased and racial paradigm attempts to justify that those on your featured list are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used “to keep Mexicans in their oppressed state.”

With that said, you may as well assay at justifying the Mexican Studies hate curriculum "Occupied America" that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans because of the insatiable greed of the Yankee who acquired his values from the corrupted ethos of Western civilization. The guise is that the Southwest is “Atzlan,” the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, and still rightfully belongs to their descendants – all people of Mexican heritage.

As a writer, you should refuse to be complicit in this campaign that engenders racial hostility, irresponsibly demeaning America’s past, undermining and disrespecting public servants, and for the discounted virtues in Western civilization and the deplorable disdain for American sovereignty.

Are we American citizens consigned to forced pestilence, or mere fools to this we-break-in - you-racist juggernaut? The tens of millions who illegally settle in the US demonstrate disregard for our laws, language, and express their contempt for our national sovereignty. They proclaim, through their arrogance and lawless actions, that Americans, who constitute the very fabric of this nation, have no say in this matter. We must let the prodessionals such as Janet Napolitano and the feds handle it. A much higher level of expertise is required to deal with the hordes of reconquistas.

All one has to do is mention the racist menace of the illegal alien nation, and you are designated the mahatma and dithyrambic inhumane right-winger that sentinels of racial human shields ardently detest. We in fact must be considered fools to allow a scorched-Earth demographic that considers Americans the enemy the privilege of being here.

Your using the race card, which is probably the most worn-out and desperate scheme used to feign sympathy to garner support for a cause that has a much dirt in its past - and present. This hack piece is fundamentally anti-intellectual because it immediately stops debate by threatening to destroy the character of those who have no counter arguments. Fortunately, many Americans are not in the least intimidated by those who have no right to be here, La Raza, and the deception left in its wake.

I would suggest you read the book: "Bagpipes, The Sound Of Cheese And What Evolution Can Teach Us About Cowardice."

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

Come on, Gustavo, why you hating on such a fine establishment? I mean, it is merely an oversight that good ol' cracker and Klucker Rudy Kroener appears on the menu. Next thing you know, you will de demanding that people check their facts, cross their T's, dot their I's, and do simple Google searches on everything. Geeez!.Remember, we are the generation of George W. Bush, a C+ college student who snorted lines, drank heavily, and got away with murder (literally). So, do we really want to be responsible people who read history with the hope to learn from it and to avoid its pitsfalls? Nah. We prefer Rupert Murdoch and the continuing dumbing down of Amerikkka.So take that, will ya?

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

Mochilagorilla,

My little chinito, take a deep breath and relax. Calling attention to the sins of many owners ago is not a bad thing. History is a fucken incredible thing especially when we find surprises, irony, shock, and sex, of course. The current wab/chino/cammel jockey/negrito/cracker immigrant owner of this fine establishment need not worrry. Gus is merely pointing out a faux pas, an indiscretion, an oversight if you will. But most importantly, he is pointing out an incredible ironic set of circumstances. 

But the pendejo minority entrepreneur probably  needs to take yet another remedial ESL class but one that focuses on research and analysis of his fine establishment. Listen, the poor vato probably bought the place thinking it was a cool place (aesthetically it is) and that somehow he bought into the American dream which he prob did. But the irony of it all in finding out that a previoys kkkracker actually owned it is just too much. Mr. Minority Entrepreneur fellow should take great pride in Gus finding out this fact. That is what history is all about, my little chinito. It is that branch of knowledge that records and explains past events. The restaurant's past has already  been recorded. Gus is merely reporting on it. Entiendes vato?

But, you know what? I like your passion. I like your inner fire, especially when you point out that, financially, minorities can suffer great consequences based on treatment and circumstance. In other words, you are a tru wab who believes que si se puede. I am with you, carnal. Now go and gather all your chinito paisas and we will mount what will become the second wave of Mexi and Filipinoi-wab unity. We will make that little UFW movement look  pale in comparison. Let's take it to the streets, manito. Let's take it to the Man. Let's go Speedy Gonzales wab on all those haters that scapegoat us into oblivion. In other words, start by shutting the fuck up and understand the beauty of history and what it can teach us. I get it that Filipinos are mostly right-wing Catholics willing to turn the other nalga and forgive. Listen, just because our military base financially saved a large part of your gente doesn';t mean you have to lick the conservative culo for the rest of your life. Throw away those filipino mail-order bride catalogs so that perverted jarheads won't exploit your viejas anymore. Understand the irony. Embrace the truth. But most of all, learn from the past so that all wabs/chinos/negritos/cammels/crackers will avoid repeating it. Gustavo is merely pointing that out. For now, se me calla, cabron.

Good night to all. I have to run and watch a re-run of Christie Canyon's greates hits.Alli los watcho.....   

Bill T.
Bill T.

Hey, Culichi, I didn't get the impression so much that Gustavo was ragging the establishment (he's apparently eaten there). What I take away is that it's an example of the whitewashing of Southern California history, a valid point. The fact that I'm (largely) northern european ancestry and can trace my family back to before the revolution in Virginia strongly implies that some (many???) of my ancestors were sKKKum. So even though I'm not responsible for their sins doesn't mean I can't learn from them. Knowkedge (even if I can't spell it, he he he) gives us power. Not a huge criticism of your comment, just a nudge.

Mochilagorilla
Mochilagorilla

wow. I thought I had a thing for self important, half informed ignorance-in-the-guise-of-information pontification, but buddy, you are AMAZING.Thank Jesus and the Bhudda that u have saved me from repeating the past. I'll scratch "become a Klansman despite all odds" off of my to-do list. BTW, your spanglish douchebaggery is VERY good.understand the irony.Wank on!

have a good one. I gotta go to work.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Now now, latino immigrants weren't the only victoms of these skum so, as the erudite poster implies, (even though you didn't mention any specific group) it's hitting below the belt to illustrate that life might not have been all it's cracked up to be. Or something like that. What a maroon.

fretsward
fretsward

There is an incredible amount of energy building to take back our country from the neo-Marxist subversive La Raza nation, to save our economy and our way of life. But why? Could you envision any future with people who think incest or rapto is acceptable? Do you want to live in a world where racist Third Worlders fathers are turning our country into the one they are deserting as if on fire, a la the National Council of the Race, and MEChA manifesto? Can you really put your faith in the vermin that infest every facet of this society?

America is salvageable, not because of our sustainable fortitude or the ability to get tough when the going is tough, but because the majority of Americans have a high standard of accepted morality. Incest, rape, child murder, birth-right fraud, the disease of entitlement and exploitation of millions with 4th grade educations cannot and must not be rationalized and justified in our society by a demographic so debased that they promote moral decay as “immigrant rights” or “humanity” and vilify any voice that espouses Western mores and tradition. So why should any of us work to stave off a moral collapse that Mexico's valueless culture makes inevitable? To do anything but prepare yourself and your family for life in the Third World America this deluge is creating, and the new Dark Ages that will follow the collapse of the last bastion of Western Civilization, is madness - though foolish at best.

Americans have decided it is time to climb out of the clown car and build a bulwark from the chaos the upstanding continuous flow of Mexican citizens people have set in motion.But for now, the line-dance remains: "dimwits to the right of me, idiots and immigrants to the left of me and mere fools gather all around.”

fretsward
fretsward

Your adolescent racial pap reminds me of a hatchet I've owned for at least 20 years. I've replaced the handle 12 times, and the head 10 times, but the damn thing is still like new...

fretsward
fretsward

As opposed to a pretend American, or better yet, an actual "pretindian."

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

Bill T:

I wish to thank my lawyer Gustavo for defending me. Stick around, Bill, and you will come to know me well. Besides, I always have room for enlightened, anglo-saxon amigos like yourself.In the meantime, Hasta La Victoria! 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Bill: Do remember that ALL of Culichi's comments against Know Nothings are always satirical, and his ire for gabachos is reserved only for Know Nothings. Good gabachos like you are excluded...

Badinfluencechris
Badinfluencechris

what about my dickk in your wetback mothers mouth? hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

mitch young
mitch young

" things that he's totally for but the rest of us civilized folks left long ago. "

Ah, but you are writing about people who lived and worked and signed up for the Klan long ago.

What Gustavo always forgets that just about every white person at the time of his 'subjects' believed in 'white supremacy' -- which is nothing more than saying that the people who for the most part built the country and established its institutions should remain in charge. Lincoln was a 'white supremacist', Wilson was a 'white supremacist' and segregationist , Teddy Roosevelt was a 'white supremacist', and even FDR tacitly accepted segregation and  'white supremacy'.

As for me, I've never once advocated government enforced segregation, though I also don't have a problem with people segregating themselves (like Mexican immigrants do), and as a white person I refuse to be for 'white subservience'  which is the position of your milquetoast white fans.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Of course, what Mitchie conveniently always forgets is that the Klan believed in segregation and white supremacy, things that he's totally for but the rest of us civilized folks left long ago.

mitch young
mitch young

Actually, there were **no** 'victims' of these gentlemen, as we see from the total lack of any evidence of crime or violence in Calvito's "research" reports.

The second klan was a huge organization -- it included among its members Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. It's primary concern was maintaining the America that had been founded by its members' ancestors in some recognizable form. In some things it was mistaken (temperance for example has about the same degree of rootedness in American history as  immigrants from Zacatecas-- i.e. zero)  In some things they were correct, like the immigration restriction laws that resulted in America growing into a powerful, rich, and yet fairly egalitarian society in the mid-20th century.

And of course that is Calvito's project. You're average American, esp. under 30, is so brainwashed as to think that before, say, 1965, negros were hanging from every streetlamp, that immigrants were just salt-of-the-earth folks set upon for no reason by evil  'know-nothing' nativists, etc. The fact is the US was a healthy society whose traditional majority had confidence in itself for good reason -- it had created a superpower. It was gradually extending full rights to a historic legacy population in all regions of the country. It had low levels of immigration, and enforced the immigration laws it did have (see Operation Wetback-- unfortunate name but great policy put in place by the man who beat Hitler). And it was good.

fretsward
fretsward

That Neo-Nazi racist hatred you pretended to read came from Chicano leader Jose Angel Gutierrez: "We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him" (bold letters, underline added) (Occupied America Exh D pg. 323).

You have a multitude of racist education materials at your disposal such as the myth of Aztlan explained in Chicano Studies textbooks, and what's taught to Latino kids in schools. Neo-Nazi you say? How about "The Mexican American Heritage" by East Los Angeles high school teacher Carlos Jimenez? It says "Latinos are now realizing that the power to control Aztlan may once again be in their hands."

It teaches separatism, victimization, nationalism, hatred towards the US, and promotes open borders. Diatribe? You can't handle the truth.

Truth decay requires a medical professional...

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

me thinks i read this diatribe in a neo-nazi flyer circulating in HB. 

Bill T.
Bill T.

I have seen your posts and I've noticed that you call out the know-nothings (like Mitch the-troll Young) but don't bad-mouth others.

Bill T.
Bill T.

The quality of your posts speak for themselves.

mitch young
mitch young

In other words Caspar Milquetoasts who are willing to see the society created by their ancestors handed over to 'Latinos' and any other Johnny-come-lately's who have screwed up their own lands.

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

spoken like a true red-blooded Amerikkkan.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Spoken like someone who's only contact with female flesh is his left hand that he called Lucy...

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