Dr. Riel Hillier was born near Bath, (Earnestown County), Ontario on the 5th of November, 1864. He was the son of Jacob David Hillier and the former Elizabeth Rolton. Dr. Hillier graduated from the Victoria College Medical School in 1886 and started his medical practice in Wheatley. He joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 30th of April, 1886.
Dr. Hillier married Cora Wigle on the 9th of January, 1889 in Leamington, Ontario. Mrs. Hillier was born on the 27th of March, 1867, the eldest child and only daughter of Robert Wigle and the former Sarah Jane Scratch. She had 5 younger brothers; Howard, Ernest, Milton, Forest and Leonard and her parents were farmers.
By 1892, Dr. and Mrs. Hillier had moved to Leamington (Essex Co.). They had a son, Leland “Glen” Hillier born on the 12th of June, 1892 and a daughter Sarah Madeline Hillier born on the 17th of February, 1894. With the close proximity of Leamington to Kent County, Dr. Hillier was known to treat patients in Wheatley and Romney Township (Kent County).
Dr. Hillier joined the First Hussars in 1904. By 1911 he had been made a Captain and he was chosen to participate in the Coronation of King George V, on the 22nd of June (1911).
Dr. Hillier enlisted in World War I on the 10th of February, 1915. On his Attestation Papers, he stated that he had participated in the North West Rebellion of 1885 and he had been an active Militia member for 13 years. At the age of 48, Dr. Hillier served overseas in Egypt and on the Western Front as a Medical Officer. Dr. Riel Hillier was promoted to Major in 1920. His son Glen became a doctor and also volunteered for active duty during World War I.
Dr. Hillier returned to Leamington after the war. Dr. and Mrs. Hillier residence was located 69 Talbot Street West. In 1923, Dr. Hillier purchased a vineyard on Pelee Island (Essex County) known as Vin Villa and expanded the grape growing capacity of the vineyard. (Vin Villa caught fire in 1963 and burned down.)
Dr. Hillier died at his residence in Leamington on the 19th of January, 1938. He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Essex County.