Plans were laid to turn the first sod (for the railway) on August 9, but the ceremony did not take place until 16 August 1881. Ground was broken near John Dwyer's residence, Oak Farm, at the northwest corner of Empire Avenue and Carpasian Road. Dwyer, M.H.A. for St. John's West at the time of his death in 1917, and known as "Honest John" was a governor of the Newfoundland Savings Bank.
Note: Believe O'Neill may be referring to John Dwyer Jr. as MHA as John Sr. died in 1885 (see below)
Will of John Dwyer Vol. 4, p. 368, 1885 Newfoundland Will Books
Transcribed by Joanne Connors Parandjuk
this will reprinted exactly as it appears in the will book
In re John Dwyer deceased.
This is the last will and testament of me John Dwyer of Saint John's in the Island of Newfoundland Farmer-I hereby revoke all wills by me heretofore made-I appoint my son John Dwyer of Saint John's aforesaid to be the sole executor of this my last will and testament and direct that all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses be paid as soon as conviently may be after my decease-I give devise and bequeath unto my wife Bridget Dwyer during her life time all property which I may die possessed whether real or personal and after her death I give devise and bequeath the said property to my said son John Dwyer his heirs and assigns provided that my daughters Margaret and Bridget Dwyer shall be supported by my said wife during her life time and after her death by my said son John Dwyer whilst they remain unmarried and reside on the property now in my possession and I hereby charge the said property with the support and maintenance of my said daughters whilst they remain unmarried and reside on the said property.In witness whereof I the said John Dwyer have to this my last will and testament set my hand this tenth day of January Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and eighty five.John X (his mark) Dwyer-Signed by the said testator John Dwyer as his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses (the said will having been first read over and explained to the said testator in our presence) Hugh H. Carter, Patrick Kelly.