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Mathew "Harris" Ellsworth papers

Identifier: Ax 033

Scope and Contents note

Mathew "Harris" Ellsworth served as the first representative from the Oregon Fourth District, 78th to 84th Congresses. The files include correspondence, reports, investigations, studies, and political records.

Of special interest are the files dealing with flood control, river development, forestry, lumbering, mining, and the hydro-electric partnership principle. The political files are primarily concerned with district rather than state or national issues.

Correspondence of importance exists between Mr. Ellsworth and his professional associates in the Oregon newspaper field: Merle Chessman, Editor of the Astorian Budget; Ralph R. Cronise, Publisher and Editor of the Albany Democrat Herald; Louis Felsheim of the Bandon Western World; Herb Grey of the Medford Mail Tribune; Palmer E. Hoyt Publisher, Denver Post; Frank Jenkins of the Klamath Falls Herald; Robert W. Sawyer Publisher, Bend Bulletin; Charles Stanton Editor, Roseburg News-Review; and William M. Tugman Managing Editor, Eugene Register-Guard.

The collection includes 4,000 letters.


  • 1936-1956


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Mathew "Harris" Ellsworth was born in Hoquiam, Grays Harbor County, Washington on September 17, 1899. He moved from Hoquiam to Eugene and later to Wendling, Oregon with his parents. Ellsworth attended public schools and served in the Student Army Training Corps during the World War I. He graduated in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1922. In 1923 he was advertising manager of the Eugene newspaper. He worked in the lumber business from 1923-1925 as manager of a lumber-industry publication from 1926-1928. In 1928 and 1929 he was an associate professor in journalism at the University of Oregon. Since 1929 he was publisher and co-owner of the Roseburg, Oregon News-Review. He was appointed to the State senate in 1941 and was subsequently elected as a Republican to the 78th Congress in 1943. He served in Congress through 1957. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1956 to the 85th Congress. In 1957 he was appointed by President Eisenhower as chairman of the Civil Service Commission for a two-year term and served to February 28, 1959. He returned to Oregon and resumed his newspaper business profession and became a real estate broker. In 1975 he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and lived there until his death on February 7, 1986. He was interned at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Albuquerque.


23.5 linear feet (17 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection comprises the congressional files of Mathew "Harris" Ellsworth, U.S. Representative of the Oregon Fourth District.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Congressional FilesSeries II. Legislative FilesSeries III. Political FilesSeries IV. TripsSeries V. General Correspondence

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Mathew "Harris" Ellsworth presented the University of Oregon Libraries with his Congressional files in the fall of 1967.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Mathew "Harris" Ellsworth Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Mary Beth Hepp-Elam
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA