Harris Ellsworth, 86, who served seven terms in the House of Representatives as an Oregon Republican and then two years as chairman of the old Civil Service Commission during the second Eisenhower administration, died of a heart ailment Feb. 7 at his home in Albuquerque.
Mr. Ellsworth was elected to Congress in 1942 and served until 1957, after he had been defeated in his bid for an eighth term. He was chairman of the Civil Service Commission from 1957 to 1959.
He was the ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee when he left Congress, and he came to the Civil Service Commission after saying that the incumbent administration should have a free hand in making appointments to jobs at the GS 12 level or above.
But he changed his views while at the commission and left believing that promotions and appointments in the federal service should be based on merit.
Mr. Ellsworth was born in Hoquiam, Wash., and served in the Army during World War I. He graduated from the University of Oregon and was editor and publisher of the Roseburg News Review in Oregon for 14 years before he began his political career.
He left Washington upon the expiration of his two-year appointment as Civil Service Commission chairman and returned to Oregon, where he became a real estate and business broker, specializing in the sale of newspapers and radio stations in the Pacific Northwest.
In 1975 he moved to Albuquerque to live near a daughter.
His wife of 62 years, Helen Ellsworth, died last July.
Mr. Ellsworth is survived by two daughters, Jane McKenna of Albuquerque and Mary Margaret Dittman of Tacoma, Wash.; 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.