Frank, Gilbert, and Sallie Preston are (unofficially) the oldest living triplets in the world—born Nov. 6, 1917, in Stafford County, Virginia. The arrival of the second child, Gilbert, came as a surprise to their father, but news of Sallie's birth pushed him right over the edge.
"That's when our father jumped off the porch and ran for the woods," Frank Preston said in a recent phone conversation from his home in Union, N.J.Triplets were something of an oddity in 1917, but not as lucrative as their father hoped.
"I don't know if it's true or not, but that's the tale that has been passed down through the family ever since."
According to family history, after the triplets were born, John Preston went to a country store in White Oak to announce their arrival. The store manager told him that the community was going to give the family a gift.
But when the proud father showed up the next day, the present turned out to be a ham and a sack of flour.
"My father told them he had enough ham and flour," Frank Preston recalled. "So, he just came home." [Link]