I decided to look for William Washington Sprouse, who lived much of his life in Abbeville, Abbeville, SC (I have to browse so I started with a town at the beginning of the alphabet).
I started with the 1880 census. First I check the population census to see that Wm was in District 1, En. District 2. Unfortunately, the 1880 census doesn't show up very well in the scans. If William is there, I can't find him.
I had better luck finding Wm in 1870. He was on the first page! The 1870 agricultural census provides information on how many acres Wm had, what types of animals he had and what crops he grew. It gives a better insight into the wealth and daily activities of my ancestors.
The one thing that I wish they would add (aside from the rest of the country!) is a blank census form to help figure out the many categories.
I'm off to look for more!