So I finally obtained a true first edition of Hans Brinker (as opposed to the many versions that claim to be first editions but were published many years later). As it turns out the first edition does not identify who Gretel's husband is, the comment about the boy who wore the red hat is a later addition.
This of course leaves one to wonder why someone felt the need to just stick in that particular detail in the work of someone else. ( I guess it is possible that Dodge added it herself later but since it appears in none of the other editions, this seems unlikely.) Well whoever it was, I am relieved that their somewhat weak choice for Gretel's husband is not canon.
Hmm I wonder how many other Gretel's Husbands are floating out there in other works.