Dr. Alton James Wilson Jr., 49, chairman of the geography department and treasurer of the board of trustees of the University of the District of Columbia, died Sept. 19 at Providence Hospital after a heart attack.

In 1968, Dr. Wilson joined the faculty at D.C. Teachers College, one of the predecessors of UDC. In 1973, he was named head of its geography department. In 1976, he became a trustee of UDC. A year later, he was named secretary of the board. He had been treasurer of the board since 1980.

A native of Washington, he graduated from Dunbar High School and the old Miner Teachers College. He earned a master's degree at D.C. Teachers College and a doctorate in education at the University of California at Los Angeles. He served in the Navy from 1955 to 1958.

Dr. Wilson then returned here and joined the D.C. public school system as a teacher and counselor at Douglass Junior High School. He remained there until he joined the faculty at D.C. Teachers.

Survivors include his wife, Jeanne of Washington; a son, Alton III, also of Washington; a daughter, Jeanette Wilson of Philadelphia; his mother, Janie Wilson of Washington; a brother, Stanley, an Air Force master sergeant stationed in Frankfort, Germany, and a sister, Carolyn Harding of Forestville, Md.