Menefee was the son of John Newell and Ellen Cowan Menefee of Kentucky. His father, a farmer, was later elected Mayor of Stanford. Menefee attended local schools, where he excelled at academics as well as the dramatic arts. He took lead roles in numerous stage productions, and graduated from the Stanford Male Academy in 1905. He enrolled at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky and immersed himself in college life as a leader in the Delta Phi fraternity, upright bass player in the school band, and captain of the football team. He left after his sophomore year, however, to enroll at the Missouri School of Mines in Rolla. He studied civil engineering for only one year there, but established his legacy in Rolla as the originator of the annual "Canonization of St Patrick" on March 17, 1908.
Menefee went on to study chemistry at the University of California in Berkeley. In November 1909, before completing his degree, he left school again to accept a position with the Lakeside Sugar Refinery in Eagle Lake, Texas. Over the next decade, he traveled the country as a sales representative. He worked for the Forest Paint Company of Syracuse, New York and the Ohio Varnish Company in Birmingham, He married fellow Kentuckian Hallie James Edwards, who had two children from a previous marriage. The family settled in Birmingham and Menefee advanced his career as a manager for the Goodyear Tire Company.
Hallie contracted tuberculosis, and after some time at the Red Mountain Sanatorium in the area later developed as Mountain Brook's English Village, she was moved to the larger St Joseph’s Sanatorium in Asheville, North Carolina. She died there in December 1922.
Menefee subsequently married another divorcee, Beauford Terry Henderson and added two more stepchildren to his family. In 1928 he founded the Redmont Tire Company, selling Goodyear tires as well as Crown gasoline along with a full repair service. The venture folded in December 1932 and was sold to Goodyear, where Menefee returned to work until his death in 1943.
Menefee was buried in a family plot at Buffalo Springs Cemetery in Stanford, Kentucky.
- Reed, Ryan (March 17, 2013) "George Menefee: The First St. Pat" Rolla Preservation Alliance - accessed April 9, 2015
- George Gilmore Menefee at Findagrave.com