Hillyard Mitchell was born in England, but came to Canada when he was 18. He joined with troops at Fort Garry during the Manitoba uprising led by Riel in 1870. He later became a fur trader with William Stobart and Company and by 1885 he was a storekeeper, magistrate, and coroner at Duck Lake, Northwest Territories. In 1888 Mitchell was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. He served in the Legislature until his retirement in 1898. He died in Victoria, BC, at the age of 70.