"... The problem is, we have no actual record of the Sohland family, like on 1880 or 1900 census, or Chicago or Milwaukee directory listings from before that time ..."
No Sohland or Soland entries (so far) in "Milwaukee's German Newspapers; an index of death notices and related items" (1844-1950).
Gary Rebholz, compiler/editor
Indexing Milwaukee's German newspapers continuously since 2007... helping to access our historic German-American culture.