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Torrey is located on State Route 24 in Wayne County, Utah, eight miles from Capitol Reef National Park.

The town was established in the 1880s by Mormon settlers, and was initially known as Youngtown, after John Willard Young; it is generally held to be named after Jay L. Torrey from Pittsfield, Illinois. Torrey was a member of the Wyoming legislature, who, upon the advent of the Spanish-American War, achieved national attention by proposing the creation of what became three volunteer cavalry regiments, made up of cowboys and stockmen. Torrey was commissioned Colonel of the 2nd Regiment, the "Rocky Mountain Riders"; the 1st Regiment, the only regiment to see action, was better known as the Rough Riders.