Andrew Putnam Hill came to California via the Isthmus of Panama, settling in San José. He attended Santa Clara College and later the San Francisco School of Design, where he studied with Virgilio Tojetti and Louis O. Lussier. He and Lussier owned a portrait painting business in Oakland (1876-1877) and in San José (1878-1880). Hill was also an accomplished photographer, and in 1892 partnered with Sidney Yard to create the "Hill and Yard" photography studio. However, Hill is best remembered for founding the Sempervirens Club in 1900, which was responsible for creating Big Basin Redwoods California State Park in 1901.