Dallas H. Watson, 91, who retired in 1955 after 44 years of service as a map maker with the U.S. Geological Survey, died of kidney failure Sunday at the Chevy Chase Nursing Center in Silver Spring. He had lived there for three years.

After joining the Survey in 1911; he worked on field surveys in the Rocky Mountains and other Western areas. He came to Survey headquarters here in the early 1920s and was engaged in all phases of the topographical mapping of the Eastern states. He organized a new mapping program for the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933.

Later, Mr. Watson became assistant chief of the Atlantic region of the Survey's topographic division with headquarters in Arlington. In 1946, he was made chief of the region, a position he held until retiring.

He was born in Kansas and grew up in Chandler, Okla. He earned a degree in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University. He was a captain in the Army in World War I.

From 1919 to 1921, Mr. Watson was assigned to topographic mapping in the Dominican Republic. He was in charge of a mapping project in Puerto Rico in 1922.

A former Washington resident, he had lived in Fort Myers, Fla., for about 10 years before returning to this area in 1975 and settling in Silver Spring.

He is survived by his wife, the former Louise Bready, of the nursing center; a daughter, Marguerite Jones of Silver Spring; a son, Mervin C., of Falls Church; four sisters; two brothers; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.