Toftezen was from Levanger in Nord-Trøndelag, Norway. In late 1849, he first arrived on Whidbey Island. He filed his land claim in 1851, taking 320 acres in what is now Oak Harbor. He was joined by his mother Emmerence (1792-1871) and sister Bernhardine (1822-1906). His brother Ole Christian Toftezen (1816-1884) and family arrived in the area during 1874.
Toftezen died during 1901 and was buried at the Our Saviour's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Stanwood, Washington. A monument was erected by the Pioneer Historical Society of the Stillaguamish Valley and the Sons of Norway of America on 27 May 1939. 
- "Facts about the Pioneer Toftezen Family". The Arlington Times. April 27, 1939. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
- "Crown Prince Olav of Norway attends Stanwood's Toftezen Memorial dedication". HistoryLink.org. 27 May 1939. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- "Toftezen Memorial, Lutheran Cemetery, Pioneer Highway, Stanwood". Stanwood Area Historical Society. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- Zakarius Martin Taftezen Collection (Pacific Lutheran University)