Toensing lists his birth year as 1846. History of Goodhue County, Minnesota, 1909 lists 1844. The Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1889 lists 1843.
He left Sweden for America on May 1, 1866. He arrived at Ellis Island, New York in July 1866. He moved to Rockford, Illinois on August 1, 1866. He moved to Water Valley, Mississippi on December 4, 1866. He moved to Red Wing, Minnesota in 1873.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for Minnesota Secretary of State in the 1892 election.