According to the Internet source given below, Wilbur C. Sweatman, born in Brunswick, Missouri was an American ragtime and Dixieland jazz composer, bandleader and clarinetist. Before starting his own bands, he performed in circus bands, Professor Clark Smith's Pickaninny Band of Kansas, the P.G. Lowery Band, and briefly played with the W.C. Handy band and Mahara's Minstrels. A recording pioneer made his first recordings in Minneapolis, Minnesota on phonograph cylinders in 1903. One of these is said to have been the first recorded version of Scott Joplin
's Maple Leaf Rag (1899)
. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908 and became established in becoming bandleader at the Grand Theater. Whilst on the vaudeville circuit he was renowned for playing three clarinets simultaneously, this feat being recorded by a number of photographs, some used on bill-boards and record labels. In the ragtime world he is renowned for his Down Home Rag
(1911) which was tremendously successful testified by the huge number of recordings made down the decades to the present day. For Scott Joplin scholars, Sweatman is of poignant significance. On moving to New York in 1913 he became close friends with Joplin who named him as executor of his estate including Joplin's musical papers and unpublished manuscripts. Sadly these papers went missing after Sweatman's death in New York in 1961.
From the 1920s to early 1940s, Sweatman remained an influential figure in the jazz scene both with his recordings and the number of eminent musicians, such as Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins and Cozy Cole, who passed through his bands.