Tener attended the public high schools and was employed by manufacturing firms and corporations in and around Pittsburgh. From 1885 to 1890, he played professional baseball as a pitcher and outfielder.
He entered the banking business in Charleroi, Pennsylvania in 1901, where he was cashier, and later president, of the First National Bank. He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives, when he resigned, having been elected Governor of Pennsylvania, an office he held from 1911 to 1915.
He engaged in the insurance business until his death, aged 82, in Pittsburgh in 1946. He was interred in Homewood Cemetery.